Houlihan Smith & Company Refinances Interstate Transportation Company

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Chicago Investment Bank Assists Michigan Based Transportation Company Refinance Debt for Future Growth

Houlihan Smith & Company
Joe Lunkes and Houlihan Smith helped reposition our company to take advantage of future growth opportunities.

Houlihan Smith & Company, Inc. (Houlihan) acted as exclusive advisor in assisting Four Star Transportation Co. in arranging a working capital and equipment financing facility. Financing was provided by Crestmark Bank and GE Capital, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction was announced today by Charles Botchway, Group Managing Director and Vice Chairman of The Houlihan Firm. The transaction team was led by Houlihan Smith & Company Managing Director Joe Lunkes.

"Joe Lunkes and Houlihan Smith helped reposition our company to take advantage of future growth opportunities,” said Michael Leoni, founder and owner of Four Star Transportation. "Since 1935 we have been providing on-time delivery and outstanding customer service to our clients. This refinancing will allow Four Star to continue to provide our clients with the best services available.”

Based in Melvindale, Michigan, Four Star Transportation Co. is a trucking firm that provides delivery and value added supply chain services to clients in the U.S. and Canada. Initially formed to service the steel industry, Four Star has diversified over the years and now hauls a wide range of commodities including automotive stampings, sheetrock, mulch, salt, metal, and building materials. Four Star Transportation has recently established a network of warehouses and terminals to provide just-in-time inventory fulfillment to retailers located in the Great Lakes region and Ontario, Canada.

"Four Star Transportation had pursued a successful strategy of offering value-added logistic services to compliment its core flat deck trucking operation,” said Joe Lunkes, Managing Director at Houlihan Smith. "This strategy highlights the resiliency and foresight of Mr. Leoni and his management team. We are pleased to have helped Four Star attract the capital it needs to continue to grow and service their clients.”

Moving forward, Four Star Transportation Co. will continue to diversify its client base, expand its inventory management and logistic services, as well as partner with independent operators to position itself for profitable growth in the future. The Company has approximately 125 tractors and over 300 aluminum flat deck trailers in its fleet. It augments this with a network of owner-operators to provide its clients with a dedicated, diverse service offering.

About the Houlihan firm:
Founded in 1996, the Houlihan firm is a global investment banking firm that provides financial advisory, financing services, and valuation services to public and private businesses as well as asset managers. The Houlihan firm is recognized as a leading provider of financial opinions, financing, merger & acquisitions advisory, and other corporate advisory services. In addition, the firm is a registered broker-dealer and FINRA/SIPC Member. The Houlihan firm provides cost-effective fairness and solvency opinions, as well as valuations for tax and financial reporting to some of the largest NYSE/NASDAQ companies, as well as small, privately held businesses. The firm’s experienced professionals work across the globe from offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, and Accra.

About Four Star Transportation Co:
Four Star Transportation traces its roots to 1935, when Mr. Leoni’s grandfather, Mr. Charles J. Rogers, founded C.J. Rogers Transportation Company. The Company’s main operation was hauling steel on flatbed trucks between Ohio and Michigan. In 1973, Mr. Leoni’s father purchased C.J. Rogers, and seven years later, Mr. Leoni joined the family business as a Sales Representative. Over the next 14 years, Mr. Leoni handled nearly all aspects of C.J. Rogers, working his way up to Operations Manager and serving as a Vice President. Eventually, he desired a fresh start and made plans to form his own transportation company. Four Star Transportation Co. was incorporated in 1994 with Mr. Leoni serving as the sole shareholder. He bought the assets of C.J. Rogers, folded those operations into Four Star Transportation, and transitioned his relationships with his long-standing customers to the new company.

About GE Capital:
GE Capital is America’s largest leasing company. Through its Equipment Finance business it provides commercial leases and loans, typically ranging from $5 thousand to $25 million, to small and mid-sized manufacturers, dealers, and end-business users to help drive cost-efficiencies and top line growth. Customizable financing solutions span from IT, to construction, office imaging, and medical equipment, to telecom, transportation, healthcare and more.

About Crestmark Bank:
Crestmark Bank was established as an FDIC bank in October, 1996. Our assets have grown over 90 percent since 2002. When a company needs cash and traditional means are not available, an asset based lending relationship with Crestmark Bank may be the answer. We specialize in providing working capital solutions for businesses selling to other businesses. We are the specialized lender of choice for a growing number of businesses nationwide.

Media Inquiries:
William Berger
Analyst – Houlihan Smith & Company
(312) 499-5986

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