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Academy Bus, LLC and Franmar Leasing LLC--Purchase of Certain Assets of Daniel's Charters & Tours LLC

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Topics:  Academy Bus, Daniel's Charters & Tours

Academy Bus, LLC and Franmar Leasing LLC--Purchase of Certain Assets of Daniel's Charters & Tours LLC

Brendetta S. Jones
Surface Transportation Board
22 February 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 36 (Thursday, February 22, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7829-7831]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-03644]


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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

[Docket No. MCF 21079]


Academy Bus, LLC and Franmar Leasing LLC--Purchase of Certain 
Assets of Daniel's Charters & Tours LLC

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice tentatively approving and authorizing finance 
transaction.

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SUMMARY: On January 23, 2018, Academy Bus LLC (Academy), a motor 
carrier of passengers; Franmar Leasing LLC (Franmar), a non-carrier; 
and Daniel's Charters & Tours LLC (Daniel's Charters), a motor carrier 
of passengers (collectively, Applicants) jointly filed an

[[Page 7830]]

application for Academy and Franmar to acquire certain properties of 
Daniel's Charters. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing 
the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this 
notice will be the final Board action. Persons wishing to oppose the 
application must follow Board rules.

DATES: Comments must be filed by April 9, 2018. The applicants may file 
a reply by April 23, 2018. If no opposing comments are filed by April 
9, 2018, this notice shall be effective on April 10, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to 
Docket No. MCF 21079 to: Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, send one copy of comments to: 
Joseph J. Ferrara, Ferrara and Associates, 111 Paterson Avenue, 
Hoboken, NJ 07030.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Fancher (202) 245-0355. Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) for the hearing impaired: 1-800-877-
8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Academy is a motor carrier licensed by the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (MC-646780) that provides 
motor carrier passenger services in Florida and Georgia, with its 
principal place of business located in Florida. (Appl. 3, 8.) 
Applicants state that Academy (Florida) ESB Trust (Academy Trust), a 
non-carrier controlled by Francis Tedesco (the sole trustee), is the 
sole member of Academy. According to Applicants, Franmar is a non-
carrier New Jersey limited liability company controlled by the Tedesco 
Family ESB Trust (Tedesco Trust), also a non-carrier. Applicants state 
that Franmar is exclusively engaged in the ownership and leasing of 
passenger motor coaches to Academy and its affiliates.\1\ Applicants 
further assert that Daniel's Charters, a licensed motor carrier of 
passengers (MC-351188), presently operates interstate charter motor 
coach transportation services and tour transportation services 
primarily in the state of Georgia. Applicants further state that Jimmy 
Cantrell is the majority member and manager of Daniel's Charters.
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    \1\ Applicants state that Francis Tedesco and Mark Tedesco are 
lifetime beneficiaries of the Tedesco Trust, which controls a New 
Jersey company, also called Academy Bus, LLC, a non-carrier and the 
sole member of three limited liability company passenger motor 
carriers: Academy Express, LLC, Academy Lines, LLC, and Number 22 
Hillside, LLC (together, Academy Companies). According to 
Applicants, none of the Academy Companies are parties to the 
agreement with Daniel's Charters that is the subject of this 
application. Applicants state that Franmar and the Tedesco Trust are 
commonly controlled by Francis Tedesco and Mark Tedesco. (See Appl. 
5-6.)
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    Daniel's Charters proposes to sell certain assets used in its motor 
coach passenger charter transportation business pursuant to an Asset 
Purchase Agreement, dated January 19, 2018. According to Applicants, 
this transaction is a result of the business determination made by 
Daniel's Charters to permanently withdraw from the motor coach 
transportation business and focus its efforts on the continued 
development of its tour business operations. Applicants state that, 
under the terms of the Asset Purchase Agreement, Academy will acquire 
Daniel's Charters' customer lists, charter contracts, telephone 
numbers, website, pending motor coach customer contracts existing as of 
the closing date, charter contract deposits associated with the pending 
contracts, and related assets and intangibles, and Franmar will acquire 
32 of 34 motor coaches currently owned by Daniel's Charters. (Appl. 7.)
    Under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), the Board must approve and authorize a 
transaction that it finds consistent with the public interest, taking 
into consideration at least: (1) The effect of the proposed transaction 
on the adequacy of transportation to the public; (2) the total fixed 
charges that result; and (3) the interest of affected carrier 
employees. Applicants submitted information required by 49 CFR 1182.2, 
including information to demonstrate that the proposed transaction is 
consistent with the public interest under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b) and a 
statement, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 14303(g), that Academy and its motor 
carrier affiliated companies exceeded $2 million in gross operating 
revenues for the preceding 12-month period.\2\
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    \2\ Applicants with gross operating revenues exceeding $2 
million are required to meet the requirements of 49 CFR 
1182.2(a)(5).
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    Applicants state that this acquisition is in the public interest 
because the transaction will not have a materially detrimental impact 
on the adequacy of transportation services available to the public. 
According to Applicants, Daniel's Charters will be selling all of its 
motor coach vehicles that it no longer desires to operate, no operable 
motor vehicles will be scrapped by Daniel's Charters, and no new buses 
will need to be purchased by Franmar at this time. Thus, Applicants 
state that the public would not lose service because the same number of 
buses would continue to operate. Applicants state that the transaction 
would promote more efficiencies and greater economic use of existing 
transportation capital resources, and offer the public continued 
service options to those customers of Daniel's Charters in need of such 
service.
    Applicants also assert that the proposed transaction would not 
result in an increase to fixed charges, as the proposed transaction is 
expected to be for cash.
    Additionally, Applicants state that the proposed transaction would 
have no adverse effect on qualified Daniel's Charters' employees at the 
locations from which Daniel's Charters operates because Academy will 
interview and offer employment opportunities to those employees, which 
Applicants claim is ``a necessity to permit Academy to continue to 
operate the assets acquired as a carrier.''
    According to Applicants, anticompetitive effects would be unlikely 
because none of the operable motor vehicles will be scrapped by the 
seller and no new buses will need to be purchased by Franmar at this 
time. Thus, Applicants state, the same number of buses presently 
operated will continue to be operated in Academy's bus operations in 
Georgia.\3\
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    \3\ The Board notes that the Asset Purchase Agreement contains a 
non-compete agreement, which prohibits Daniel's Charters and its 
principal, for a period of time, from soliciting or otherwise 
competing with Academy in the geographic areas and jurisdictions in 
which Daniel's Charters currently conducts its motor coach 
operations. (Appl., Ex. at 35.) After a review of the contractual 
provision, however, the Board finds that the clause does not appear 
to have an anticompetitive effect, on balance, in the market.
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    On the basis of the application, the Board finds that the proposed 
acquisition is consistent with the public interest and should be 
tentatively approved and authorized. If any opposing comments are 
timely filed, these findings will be deemed vacated, and, unless a 
final decision can be made on the record as developed, a procedural 
schedule will be adopted to reconsider the application. See 49 CFR 
1182.6(c). If no opposing comments are filed by the expiration of the 
comment period, this notice will take effect automatically and will be 
the final Board action.
    Board decisions and notices are available on our website at 
``WWW.STB.GOV.''
    This action is categorically excluded from environmental review 
under 49 CFR 1105.6(c).
    It is ordered:
    1. The proposed transaction is approved and authorized, subject to 
the filing of opposing comments.
    2. If opposing comments are timely filed, the findings made in this 
notice will be deemed as having been vacated.

[[Page 7831]]

    3. This notice will be effective April 10, 2018, unless opposing 
comments are filed by April 9, 2018.
    4. A copy of this notice will be served on: (1) The U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; (2) the U.S. Department of 
Justice, Antitrust Division, 10th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20530; and (3) the U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, 
DC 20590.

    Decided: February 15, 2018.

    By the Board, Board Members Begeman and Miller.
Brendetta S. Jones,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2018-03644 Filed 2-21-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4915-01-P

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