United Maritime Group selling barge company to Ingram

United Maritime Group LLC (UMG) said April 19 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell U.S. United Barge Line LLC (UBL), a wholly owned barge transportation subsidiary of UMG, to Ingram Barge Co.

Based in Tampa, the subsidiaries of UMG operate businesses in the dry bulk transportation and logistics industry, including U.S. United Bulk Terminal LLC, the largest coal and petroleum coke handling facility in the Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. United Ocean Services LLC, which operates the largest Jones Act dry bulk ocean fleet by capacity. UMG acquired these operations in 2007 from TECO Energy, and TECO Energy’s Tampa Electric unit still uses these facilities to transport coal to its Big Bend power plant on Tampa Bay.

“Since acquiring UBL in 2007, we have developed the business as an independent provider of barging services to the domestic and export markets for coal, petroleum coke, grain and other dry bulk commodities. We are proud of the results we have achieved with UBL and believe that the long history and exceptional reputation of the Ingram Barge Company speak to the opportunity for continued reliable service for our customers and opportunities for continued growth for our employees at UBL,” said UMG Chief Executive Officer Steven Green.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and satisfaction or waiver or other customary closing conditions.

Said UMG’s March 30 annual Form 10-K report about UBL: “UBL is the eighth largest (measured by available capacity) dry cargo barge operator in the U.S. UBL focuses its operations on the lower Mississippi River where it is a market leader and provides cost-effective and efficient line-haul services under long-term contracts for customers in the U.S. coal and petcoke markets. UBL’s services primarily originate in close proximity to its large fleeting area in Metropolis, Illinois, which is located near the confluence of the major rivers on the Inland Waterways and in the heart of the Illinois Basin coal region. The services end at our Terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, where UBL offloads its cargo for storage and/or transfer to ocean-going vessels. UBL operates a fleet of 653 barges powered by its 17 owned towboats, 10 of which are high-horsepower, line-haul towboats ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 hp. Key products transported by UBL are coal, petcoke and grain.”

Ingram Barge is a subsidiary of Ingram Industries Inc., based in Nashville, Tenn., which is one of America’s largest privately held companies. BofA Merrill Lynch acted as the financial advisor to UMG, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to UMG on the transaction.

UMG was acquired from TECO Energy in December 2007 by an investment group, including Greenstreet Equity Partners LLC, an affiliate of Greenstreet Partners LP, a private investment company, Jefferies Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity investment group, AMCI Capital L.P., a joint venture between the owners of privately held American Metals and Coal International Inc., a global coal and resources firm, and affiliates of First Reserve Corp., a leading investment firm specializing in the energy industry.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.