In the late 1990s, Clarendon conceived a consolidation opportunity in the fragmented intermodal logistics space and developed an investment thesis and business plan to leverage its unique scale economies. We conducted initial due diligence with sector experts, intermodal providers, customers, and academics that focused on the sector to validate the thesis and assess the market size, growth prospects, and points of leverage.
Clarendon cultivated partners and recruited senior management team members to pursue the consolidation strategy. We approached leading providers with the strategy and hosted several founders meetings, culminating with seven letters of intent. We executed on an attractive $28 million financing package with our financial partner GE Capital, where Clarendon contributed equity and debt capital as one of the largest shareholders in the Company investing along with our entrepreneur partners. We facilitated the due diligence process which led to a simultaneous acquisition of seven companies to launch RoadLink in 2000.
Clarendon served on the board of directors and assumed lead senior management roles in finance, strategy, corporate development and integration. Clarendon principals supported the integration of the seven founding acquisitions, several divestitures and restructurings of non-core businesses. Clarendon principals supported the integration of the seven founding acquisitions and six follow-on acquisitions, as well as several divestitures and restructurings of non-core businesses. We worked closely with the CEO and the original owners/management teams of the seven founding companies to execute the business plan that organically launched 12 new service centers, doubled operating profit and tripled return on assets over the next six years. By 2005, RoadLink was a fully integrated U.S. provider of intermodal logistics services with a best-in-class information system and processes and considered the leading national provider in its target space.
With the integration process complete, favorable market conditions, and a desire by our partners to have a liquidity event for the investment, Clarendon principals worked closely with a leading investment bank to take RoadLink to market in 2005 and played a lead role on the deal team and Board Finance Committee exploring alternatives. We played a key role evaluating the several financial and strategic suitors that led to the selection of a private equity firm to acquire the Company in 2006. A Clarendon partner was elected by the Board to serve as a RoadLink shareholder representative through the final stages of the process. Clarendon and its founding and investing partners received a strong return on their investment, with Clarendon achieving a six times return on equity.