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ID NEWS: McLane to sell transportation unit to Swift

McLane Company, Inc., Temple, TX, a grocery and foodservice systems distributor subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has agreed to sell its $140-million Merit Distribution Services subsidiary to Swift Transportation Co., Inc., Phoenix, for $50 million.

Merit is a long-haul, over-the-road refrigerated carrier that primarily provides dedicated regional trucking fleets to service Wal-Mart grocery and distribution centers. Wal-Mart also is the top account for Swift, the nation's largest publicly-held truckload carrier.

"The sale of Merit will allow McLane Company to focus on its core food distribution business," comments Jim Kent, executive vice president of administration for McLane.

"Wal-Mart is currently our largest customer, and we believe this transaction will significantly enhance our presence and relationship with them," says Jerry Moyes, Swift's chairman, president and ceo. "We believe the terms of the transaction will provide Swift with a substantial opportunity to share in Wal-Mart's growth as additional Wal-Mart distribution facilities are constructed in the future."

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