Inside Logistics

Bison sold to James Richardson & Sons

One of Canada's largest trucking companies changes hands in 'made in Manitoba' transaction


January 6, 2021
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WINNIPEG – James Richardson & Sons, Limited (JRSL) has acquired Bison Transport Inc and its affiliates. As of January 1, 2021, JRSL acquired 100 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of Bison Transport Inc. and its affiliated companies (Bison) from Wescan Capital Inc. is the privately owned holding company of the Jessiman family which founded Bison in 1969.

Bison is headquartered in Winnipeg and is one of Canada’s largest trucking companies. It has over 3,700 employees and contractors operating a fleet of 2,100 tractors and 6,000 trailers throughout North America. Together with its affiliated companies, H.O. Wolding, Searcy Trucking and Britton Transport, Bison serves a wide variety of multinational, national and local customers.

“We are excited about the opportunity to acquire Bison, which has an outstanding reputation for customer service, dependability, employee relations and safety built over the past 51 years,” says Hartley Richardson, president and CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited.

“We have been a long-time admirer of Bison Transport and we are very thankful to the Jessiman family for entrusting the future ownership of Bison to our family. Bison and JRSL share many of the same values and we are pleased that Bison’s senior management team have committed to continue to lead Bison and ensure that it continues to adhere to the same principles and standards of excellence and safety as it has under the ownership of Wescan and the Jessiman family.”

Established in 1857, James Richardson & Sons, Limited is a private, family-owned and operated corporation involved in global agriculture and food processing, as well as energy exploration, transportation and marketing, financial services, insurance and real estate. Headquartered in Winnipeg, JRSL has assets and operations strategically located across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Peter Jessiman, president and CEO of Wescan, adds that “Bison and its employees have been like members of our family since my father established the company in 1969. So while we have mixed emotions, we are thrilled that we have found a buyer for Bison that shares our values of excellence and that cares for our employees and customers as much as we have over the past 51 years. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bison will continue to enjoy tremendous success in the future as part of the JRSL family.”

No operational changes

The transfer of ownership from Wescan to JRSL will not result in any changes to Bison’s operations, nor to the Bison brand. Bison will continue to be headquartered in Winnipeg.

“Today marks my 30th anniversary at Bison Transport,” says Bison president and CEO, Rob Penner.

“As I take a moment to reflect, I take great pride in what we have accomplished here as a team on behalf of the Jessiman family. Having said that, I think that takes a second seat to the renewed energy and excitement I have for our future as part of the James Richardson & Sons group of companies. I feel great that the business I have had a part in building has secured its future with such a great organization.”

Don Streuber, Bison’s executive chairman, describes the transaction as “a made in Manitoba, family-to-family transition of a great Canadian success story that has many future chapters yet to be written.”

Financial details of the transaction will not be made public.

Following its disposition of Bison Transport and its affiliated companies, Wescan will continue to be active in real estate ownership and management.