Maritime Partners enters the Jones Act market
Louisiana-based Maritime Partners LLC, the largest lessor of U.S. inland waterways towboats, has inked an agreement to acquire American Tanker Holding Company (ATHC), a subsidiary of Oslo, Norway-headquartered AMSC for a reported enterprise value of $747 million.
ATHC, formerly known as American Shipping Co., owns nine handysize products tankers and one smaller handysize shuttle tanker operated under the terms of the U.S. Jones Act market by several subsidiaries. All of the tankers were built at Philly Shipyard with six on long-term bareboat charter to Overseas Shipping Group and three to Keystone Shipping, respectively.
The parties expect the deal to close on or before the beginning of November.
“We are thrilled to acquire AMSC’s Jones Act business which is a natural fit for our platform and consistent with our investment strategy,” said Bick Brooks, the co-founder and CEO of Maritime Partners LLC.
“The acquired vessels are critical long-lived assets engaged in the transportation of non-discretionary cargo throughout the United States,” he said.
“The vessels are employed on long-term bareboat charters with two strong counterparties.”
The acquisition, Brooks added, “will nicely complement our existing lease portfolio by diversifying lessee exposure, asset exposure and end market exposure within the protected Jones Act markets,” he said, adding that, “As we look to the future, we are excited about cultivating a lasting and growing partnership with our two new lessees, Overseas Shipholding Group and Keystone.”
Pål Lothe Magnussen, CEO of AMSC commented that “the management team at AMSC is pleased that a Maritime Partners managed fund, a leading Jones Act leasing company, is acquiring our Jones Act business. “We believe this is the ideal new owner of this business for the next phase in the lifecycle of these assets.
“AMSC’s ownership tenure has surpassed 18 years since the ships were ordered, during which significant financial profits have been created and provided to AMSC and its shareholders.”
“The long remaining commercial life of the fleet in combination with strong bareboat charter contract cover in a strong market represents a good opportunity and point in time for us to reconsider capital allocation for AMSC and strategy going forward, and this transaction is a natural step in this process,” he said.