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January 2, 2009

U.S. Shipping CFO jumps ship with $930,000 golden parachute

An SEC filing by U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. (OTC:USSPZ) says that "on December 30, 2008, the Partnership announced that Mr. Al Bergeron, the Partnership's chief financial officer, was leaving the Partnership and the general partner to pursue other opportunities. Pursuant to the terms of Mr. Bergeron's employment agreement, which was entered into in connection with the Partnership's initial public offering in November 2004, he is contractually entitled to receive severance in the amount of $930,000, payable in equal semi-monthly installments over a period of two years, provided that if a change of control of the Partnership (as defined in the employment agreement) occurs prior to December 30, 2009, he will be entitled to an additional $465,000. Mr. Bergeron is subject to a two year non-compete agreement."

In the same SEC filing, the partnership says "On December 30, 2008, the audit committee of the general partner of the Partnership waived the trading blackout imposed on officers and directors during the period commencing 15 days before the end of the fiscal year and ending three business days after publication of the Partnership's financial results for the 2008 fiscal year to allow Messrs. Gehegan and Miller, officers of the general partner and the Partnership, to sell prior to the end of the year certain of their common units for tax-planning purposes to offset gains they expect to recognize in respect of their subordinated units."

U.S. Shipping Partners' common units were trading at 13 cents apiece at the end of trading on January 2, 2009, giving the company a market capitalization of $2.37 million.


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