Sea Star to buy NavierasSea Star Line, LLC (Sea Star) has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Navieras/NPR, Inc. (NPR) and of certain related entities. The agreement covers the purchase of ships, equipment, assignment of terminal leases, trade names and other assets related to NPR's Puerto Rico service.
The deal is subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval and will become effective at the end of April 2002.
Privately held Sea Star Line is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. San Juan, Puerto Rico is its caribbean regional headquarters. The company's major investors are Matson Navigation Co., the largest carrier between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii, and Totem Ocean Trailer Express, the largest carrier between the mainland U.S. and Alaska. Sea Star says it is the only ocean carrier in the U.S.- Puerto Rico trade that has significant local Puerto Rican investors.
Currently Sea Star provides services between the U.S. and Puert Orico and between the U.S. and the Virgin Islands using two U.S.-flag vessels--El Yunque and El Morro-- originally built by Sun Shipbuilders in 1976. The two steam-powered vessels underwent significant reconstruction in 1998, prior to commencement of service with Sea Star Line. Each with a capacity of 1,129, they are the only combination roll-on roll-off, lift-on lift-off ships in the trade.
Sea Star says its expanded service will "provide the premium intermodal transportation system between the continental United States and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The operation will combine Sea Star's versatile ro-ro/lo-lo service with Navieras' market-leading container service. Sea Star customers will enjoy greater frequency of service including a weekly sailing between Philadelphia and San Juan, while Navieras customers will also enjoy improved frequency between Florida ports and San Juan plus access to a wider range of container and trailer sizes and types."