Former Celadon employees spared

Just months before trucking giant Celadon would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and cease all operations, it quietly sold its Greenwood logistics warehouse to a similar company, sparing hundreds of local employees, the Daily Journal learned Tuesday.

TA Services Inc., a division of PS Logistics, LLC, acquired Celadon Logistics in April as part of Celadon’s turnaround efforts, and all of Greenwood’s Celadon employees were offered jobs with the new company, sparing them from the impending layoffs.

“It was a seamless transition,” Jay Frieden said Tuesday. Frieden is president of logistics for TA Services. He was president of Celadon Logistics before the acquisition.

“The acquisition is beneficial to both Celadon Logistics and TA Services alike,” he said in a news release posted to TA Services’ website in April.

The businesses continued to operate separately during the integration process, which lasted less than six months, according to the news release. But all Celadon employees became TA Services employees immediately following the acquisition, Frieden said. All operations are now branded as TA Services.

A large Celadon sign still hangs on the building. Frieden said it is on the company’s to-do list to have it removed. A smaller sign that hung above the visitor entrance of the building was coincidentally removed Monday, when Celadon announced its closure, and TA Services executives are still working to get information updated online, he said.

TA Services has about 350 employees who work out of its central Indiana offices in Greenwood, Columbus and Indianapolis.

Celadon Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday and said it had given up trying to restructure its operations and is shutting down immediately — a move that wiped out nearly 4,000 jobs throughout the company, which was headquartered in Indianapolis.

Celadon is the subject of a multi-year federal probe into allegations of accounting fraud that came to a head just days ago with the indictments of two of its former leaders.

In a written statement Monday, CEO Paul Svindland, who was brought into the company in 2017 to clean up the mess, said the challenges proved too great to overcome.

“We have diligently explored all possible options to restructure Celadon and keep business operations ongoing,” he said. “However, a number of legacy and market headwinds made this impossible to achieve.

“Celadon has faced significant costs associated with a multi-year investigation into the actions of former management, including the restatement of financial statements. When combined with the enormous challenges in the industry, and our significant debt obligations, Celadon was unable to address our significant liquidity constraints through asset sales or other restructuring strategies.”

Indianapolis Business Journal contributed to this report.