Ingram to buy U.S. United Barge Line from United Maritime Group

Written by Nick Blenkey

umg-bargesIngram Barge Company has reached an agreement to acquire U.S. United Barge Line, LLC (“UBL”), a barge transportation company headquartered in Tampa, Florida with a major operating office in Metropolis, Illinois.

“The acquisition will allow Ingram to continue its leadership role in the inland marine industry in providing best-of-class customer service and frequency of call for its customers,” said Craig E. Philip, CEO of Ingram Barge Company. The acquisition will add 17 towboats and almost 650 barges to the Ingram fleet. Approximately 300 UBL associates will join Ingram.

“We are pleased to show our commitment to barge transportation by making this important investment in UBL. This acquisition will allow us to renew and replenish our barge and towboat fleet and add the excellent, well respected marine employees of UBL to our family of associates,” said Orrin H. Ingram, Chairman of the Board of Ingram Barge Company.

UBL will be acquired from its owner, United Maritime Group, LLC, in a transaction that is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and satisfaction or waiver of other customary closing conditions.

“This acquisition will maintain our ability to provide effective, efficient and economical transportation services,” Mr. Philip noted. “We anticipate that the acquisition of UBL will enable Ingram to serve a broader base of valued customers with the type of focused customer service for which Ingram, and UBL, have been known.”

“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,” said UMG Chief Executive Officer Steven Green. “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.”

United Maritime Group 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 Corporation, a leading investment firm specializing in the energy industry.

Ingram Barge Company is a subsidiary of Ingram Industries Inc., based in Nashville, Tennessee, 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.

April 19, 2011

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