Houston-headquartered Kirby Corporation has signed an agreement to acquire the inland tank barge and towboat fleet of Savage Inland Marine for approximately $278 million in cash and the assumption of leases, according to an announcement made last week.
Savage’s tank barge fleet comprises 90 inland tank barges with approximately 2.5 million barrels of capacity and 46 inland towboats. Savage primarily moves petrochemicals, refined products, and crude oil on the Mississippi River, its tributaries, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
Savage also operates a significant ship bunkering business as well as barge fleeting services along the Gulf Coast. The acquisition is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The purchase will be financed through additional borrowings.
“The purchase of Savage’s inland tank barge and towboat fleet represents an excellent strategic addition to Kirby’s inland marine fleet with young, well-maintained vessels,” Kirby President and CEO David Grzebinski said in the announcement. “[Savage’s] operations complement Kirby’s inland business very well and will enable us to better service our customer’s towing and fleeting needs. Further, Savage’s ship bunkering business in New Orleans is an ideal expansion of Kirby’s existing bunkering operations in Texas and Florida, and gives Kirby the ability to service bunker customers in this important Gulf Coast port.”
Kirby made the announcement as it released its fourth quarter 2019 financials, reporting year-end net earnings net earnings of $142.3 million or $2.37 per share, compared with $78.5 million or $1.31 per share for 2018.