Tuesday, May 16,
on inland waterways
American Commercial Lines LLC and ConAgra,
Inc. have signed a definitive agreement that will see ACL acquire
ConAgra's inland river barge operations, including:
- Peavey Barge Lines,
- Brown Water Towing Inc. and
- Superior Barge Lines, Inc.
Financial terms of the agreement were not
The transaction is expected to be completed
in the next 30 days. Under the terms of the agreement, ACL will
acquire 930 owned and chartered barges, nine chartered towboats
and one dry dock.
Greg Heckman, president and chief operating
officer, ConAgra Trade Group, said, "Our decision to sell
the barge company is a strategic one. This will allow us to
focus our efforts on supporting ConAgra and our customers in
the areas of commodity origination, marketing, merchandising,
trading and risk management
This agreement is one example of ConAgra's
overall plan to focus on specific channels of business that are
strategically important to the company. ConAgra has divested
16 businesses across the organization since mid-1999.
ink and dwindling backlog at FGH
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. yesterday reported a net loss for
the quarter ended
March 31, 2000 of $3.1 million,
or $0.08 per fully diluted share, on revenue of $211.9 million.
For the comparable 1999 period, the company reported net income
of $10.0 million, or $0.43 per fully diluted share, on revenue
of $145.2 million.
Results for the 2000 period incorporate
the results of Halter Marine Group, which was acquired by Friede
Goldman International in a stock-for-stock merger on November
3, 1999. Fully diluted shares outstanding for the first quarters
of 2000 and 1999 were 40.0 million and 23.5 million, respectively.
FGH says its financial results for the
2000 period were negatively impacted by approximately $4.4 million
in non-cash charges related to the amortization of
goodwill associated with the Halter merger and the accretion
of the discount on the company's convertible subordinated notes.
Merger-related goodwill will be
amortized over a 25-year period, and the company will continue
to recognize non-cash debt accretion charges until the bonds
mature in September 2004.
Backlog for the company totaled $543.4
million at March 31, 2000 and consisted of $302.7 million in
the Offshore segment, $138.7 million in the Vessels
segment and $102 million in the Engineered Products segment.
The backlog at March 31 includes $25.5 million associated with
three vessels under construction
at the company's Trinity Yachts subsidiary, the sale of which
was completed on April 14, 2000.
FGH says it "successfully reduced
selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses during
the quarter through a reduction in employee levels and lower
expenditures on outside services. SG&A expenses totaled $13.9
million for the quarter, compared to $24.8 million for the first
quarter of 1999 for the combined
companies on a pro-forma basis. The company anticipates that
its SG&A expenses will total approximately $60 million for
2000 compared to $86.2 million for the combined companies on
a pro forma basis in fiscal 1999. The company believes that the
current level of corporate overhead can sustain significantly
increased revenue levels going forward.
At March 31, 2000, the company had $11
million in liquidity through a combination of cash and availability
under its revolving credit agreement. Average daily
liquidity since the beginning of the year through May 12, 2000
exceeded $24 million. The company is currently in compliance
with all covenants of its credit
FGH anticipates receiving by year-end 2000
a total of $47.5 million from the sale of non-core assets currently
under contract and the collection of income tax refunds.
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