TriWest Capital Partners, a Calgary private- equity firm, announced the deal earlier this month. In 2007, TriWest also bought Westcan Bulk, an Alberta-based division of Albrechtsen's Paul's Hauling group of companies.
The operations of both companies have not been affected by the sale. Gardewine does a substantial amount of its business in Manitoba, but also covers areas of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.
Gardewine general manager Dave Tuckwell said in a company newsletter: "The fact that we will have a new banker will not, I believe, affect any of our employees."
Albrechtsen's assistant, Judy Hill, said, "Paul is trying to reduce his workload... his involvement in the companies. It is as simple as that. There have been approaches over the years (from other potential buyers), but when he finally made the decision to sell a few off, he felt TriWest was a good company to sell to."
Hill said all operations remain status-quo. No financial details of the sale were disclosed.
Gardewine's senior management team has retained a significant ownership stake in the Gardewine Group, which includes Gardewine North operating more than 300 highway trucks and 900 trailers. Gardewine is the fourth investment for the TriWest Capital Partners III fund.
Before the sale of Gardewine and Westcan Bulk in 2007, Paul's Hauling was one of the 10 largest transportation firms in the country, with more than 2,600 employees, 875 tractors, 2,500 trailers and 38 terminals in Canada and the United States.
Albrechtsen, in his late 70s, started in the trucking business in Manitoba more than 50 years ago, buying his first truck to service the tiny Manitoba oilpatch in Virden, where he first worked after emigrating to Canada from Denmark.
While many other trucking companies started plying north-south routes when the industry was deregulated in the late 1980s, Albrechtsen's companies have maintained a regional focus and much of their approximately $250 million in annual sales (five years ago) is derived from its Canadian business.