Whether you're moving across the street, across town, or across the ocean, SIRVA is serious about the business of packing. One of the world's largest relocation and moving services companies, SIRVA operates in more than 40 countries. Its North American brands include Allied Van Lines, Global Van Lines, and North American Van Lines. It uses brands such as Allied Pickfords in other regions. The company boasts 300,000-plus relocations a year; outsourced moves, delivered under contract with corporate employers, and government and military customers to transfer personnel, account for the majority of SIRVA's sales. The company and its US subsidiaries emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-2008.
Weakness in the US housing market has slowed demand for moving and relocation services. SIRVA's difficulties mounted in early 2008 as delays in submitting financial reports between 2005 and 2007 (due to an internal audit) drove up borrowing costs. Lenders cut their losses and, moving the company quickly through the bankruptcy process to mitigate court costs, reached a pre-arranged deal to restructure the company via a debt for equity swap and payoff of unsecured creditors. As a result, SIRVA became a private company with its secured lenders' interests intact, and its debt and interest expense reduced by $200 million and $40 million, respectively.
SIRVA's return to profitability is led by Wes Lucas, a former head of Sun Chemical, who came on board as CEO in mid-2008 (following the company's emergence from bankruptcy). Under his management, the company aims to grow by selling more relocation and moving service packages to multinational companies and government agencies. Its soup-to-nuts relocation services, delivered through several different business units, include help with home sales, purchases, and mortgages, in addition to arranging the transportation of employees' household goods. As part of this effort, in 2010 SIRVA, through subsidiary North American Van Lines, acquired three new van line agents located in Iowa, Indiana, and New Jersey.
The company is looking to expand into South America and Asia. In mid-2012 it obtained Concept Mobility Services, a relocation and move management firm based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. SIRVA sees South America as a region ripe for explosive growth due to a recent wave of corporate expansion and inbound foreign investment. SIRVA also snapped up Shanghai-based NewPort Real Estate in 2011. NewPort, which supplies relocation and residential destination services for a number of blue chip multinational corporations, expanded SIRVA's foothold in China's growing marketplace. – less