Acquisition Expected to Create
Strong Synergies and Reunite ACL Management Team with
Business It Helped Build
Jeffersonville, IN, Oct. 1, 2015 – American Commercial
Lines (ACL) announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AEP
River Operations from American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP).
AEP River Operations is a commercial inland barge company
delivering approximately 45 million tons of products annually. The company is based in Chesterfield,
Missouri, with operations in Paducah, Kentucky; and Convent, Algiers and Belle
Chasse, Louisiana. ACL, a portfolio
company of Platinum Equity, is based in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and is one of
the most diversified marine transportation service companies in the United
ACL President and CEO Mark Knoy ran AEP River Operations for a decade
before joining ACL in 2011. He said the
proposed acquisition is a strong strategic fit.
“ACL and AEP River Operations are highly complementary businesses that
share the same business practices and commitment to safety and customer
service,” said Knoy. “I know the fleet,
the operations, the people and the culture on both sides and I can’t think of a
better fit. We are excited to join together and create something special.”
Knoy said that highly complementary networks and traffic patterns
between the two companies create significant synergy opportunities.
“There is a great deal of value to be gained through increased fleet velocity
and tow density, as well as in purchasing, port services and a more efficient
cost structure,” said Knoy. “I’m highly confident in our ability to integrate
the businesses and realize those benefits.”
Paul Tobin, ACL’s Chief Operating Officer, and Robert
Blocker, ACL’s head of sales and customer service, also spent 10 years at AEP
River Operations before joining ACL in 2011 along with Knoy. All three were
previously at MEMCO Barge Line, which was purchased by AEP in 2001.
“This is a unique opportunity to bring together two world class
organizations under a leadership team that knows the businesses first-hand and
ran both very successfully over an extended period of time,” said Platinum
Equity Partner Louis Samson. “We have tremendous
confidence in Mark and his team’s ability to effect a seamless integration and
quickly create substantial value.”
Samson added that the combination is also a great strategic
move for ACL going forward.
“By acquiring AEP
River Operations, ACL will enhance its already diversified commodity exposure,
expand its customer base, and broaden the geographies it serves,” said
Samson. “Today, ACL is one of the most
diversified transportation companies in the United States. This combination
will add scale and better position ACL to capture growth across all of its end
The transaction is expected to close
in the fourth quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approval and certain
of America Merrill Lynch is advising ACL and will lead the transaction
financing. Latham & Watkins is serving as legal counsel to ACL.
About American Commercial Lines
American Commercial Lines Inc. is an
integrated marine transportation service company owned by affiliates of Platinum
Equity, LLC and operating in the United States Jones Act trades. The company is
headquartered in Jeffersonville, IN, has approximately 2,700 employees and
operates a fleet of approximately 125 towboats and 1,900 barges. For more
information about American Commercial Lines Inc., visit www.aclines.com.
AMERICAN COMMERCIAL LINES INC.
Contact: Stephanie Smith