Stepvan and truck body builder Utilimaster has been acquired by Spartan Motors in an all-cash transaction valued at $45 million, Spartan has announced.

Utilimaster, a manufacturer of walk-in and hi-cube vans for the package delivery, bakery/snack and linen/ uniform markets, had been owned by John Hancock Life Insurance Co. It also produces commercial truck bodies along with providing service, parts and accessories.

According to Spartan, the acquisition will add approximately $105 million in yearly revenues to its balance sheet. Utilimaster employs 550 people and has 550,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing capacity at its Wakarusa, IN, headquarters.

“This acquisition represents a major strategic step forward to diversify our revenue stream into new end markets that offer growth potential and are not directly dependent on government funding or consumer spending,” said John Sztykiel, president & CEO of Spartan Motors. “The two companies share similar cultures, a focus on premium products and innovation, and management depth that make this an ideal fit.”

Sztykiel added that the purchase gives Spartan, which designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis and vehicles for the recreational, fire and emergency and defense/specialty markets, “entry into the North American delivery and service market [and] adds fabrication and vehicle body expertise.”

The deal, which should close before the end of the month, calls for $50 million in cash less a net working capital adjustment and other adjustments, which would bring the expected value of the deal to around $45 million.

“We are pleased to join forces with the Spartan Motors team,” said Mike Kitson, Utilimaster president & CEO. “Spartan and Utilimaster share a similar business model, complementary team culture and financial discipline – focused on return on invested capital – that bode well for our continued momentum in the marketplace. Based on the excellent strategic fit, I am convinced our organizations will be stronger together as we seek to leverage operational best practices and attack new growth markets beyond those we could penetrate individually.”