Maritime Partners LLC, through its managed funds, has acquired from J. Russell Flowers Inc. and its affiliates (JRF), a diversified portfolio of over 1,000 marine vessels operating on bareboat charter. JRF’s fleet includes a variety of towboats, tank barges, hopper barges, and deck barges.
With this acquisition, Maritime Partners’ portfolio has grown to approximately 1,600 vessels with an estimated fair market value of $1.2 billion, making the firm the largest lessor of marine equipment in the United States.
J. Russell Flowers Inc. was founded by Russell Flowers in 1994 and has grown to become one of the nation’s largest independent leasing companies of inland marine barges and towboats. Jill Flowers, Chairman and CEO of J. Russell Flowers, said “We congratulate Maritime Partners on the successful completion of this acquisition and wish Bick and Austin great success. I’m confident that Russell’s legacy and vision for the future will be furthered by this transaction. I also wish to thank our many valued customers who supported us for so many years.”
“We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of the JRF portfolio. With this transaction, we’ll expand and diversify our fleet, enhancing our product offering as a one-stop solution for all marine equipment requirements,” said Bick Brooks, co-founder and CEO of Maritime Partners. He continued, “We want to thank all stakeholders, including our lending partners at Credit Suisse and Stonebriar Commercial Finance for supporting our growth.”
Austin Sperry, co-founder and COO of Maritime Partners, noted, “Six years ago we established a vision to become the leading equipment provider to the domestic marine industry. This acquisition represents the culmination of our vision. We are excited to continue to partner with the Jones Act operator community to serve as a provider of flexible vessel financing solutions.”
Credit Suisse AG and its affiliates provided the buyer with debt financing and acted as sole lender for the transaction. Reed Smith LLP and Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, L.L.C. provided legal counsel to the buyer. Thompson Coburn LLP provided legal counsel to the seller. RBC Capital Markets advised the seller.
About Maritime Partners
Maritime Partners is a leading provider of maritime financing solutions, specializing in Jones Act trades. With a fleet of 1,600 vessels in service, we offer tailored leasing services to operators across the full spectrum of credit quality.
A privately held company founded in 2015, Maritime Partners provides the assets that transport the commodities which represent the primary building blocks of the domestic economy, including agricultural products, chemicals, aggregates, crude oil, and refined petroleum products. Our management team leverages more than 50 years of operational experience in chartering, asset management, shipbuilding, and financing across all marine asset classes.