May 2, 2008
Trailer Bridge puts strategic rethink on hold
Trailer Bridge, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Market: TRBR) says that the committee formed to explore strategic alternatives is suspending its active review in light of a Justice Department antitrust investigation into pricing practices among Puerto Rico carriers.
Trailer Bridge decided to explore strategic alternatives after members of the family of Trailer Bridge's founder, the late Malcom P. McLean, disclosed their intent to pursue a sale of their 47.8 percent slice of the company's outstanding common stock.
Traler Bridge said yesterday that the committee had consulted with the McLean family and with the committee's financial advisor, Jefferies & Company, Inc., and determined that the Justice Department probe would result in a less robust process.
Trailer Bridge said it has met with Justice Department attorneys, and has received a subpoena seeking certain documents and information. Trailer Bridge was not served with a search warrant, although other carriers were. Trailer Bridge immediately pledged full and complete cooperation with the Justice Department's investigation.
The Company intends as well to defend vigorously the parallel private actions that have been filed, which the Company believes are totally without any merit.
John D. McCown, Chairman and CEO, said, "Trailer Bridge believes in vigorous competition and will actively cooperate with Justice Department officials. We do not engage in illegal pricing practices. Our different assets give us various cost advantages and we have and will continue to leverage all of those differences to build volume and market share. We are proud of efficiencies and innovations that have translated into significant economic benefits for Puerto Rico shippers and residents. We started with no market share in 1992 and have grown to approximately 14%. To our shareholders, I pledge my continued commitment to robust competition as that is the clearest path to the long-term shareholder goals we all have."