US-based tank barge operator Kirby has entered a definitive agreement to purchase Higman Marine and its affiliated companies for a sum of approximately $419m.
Higman operates a marine transportation fleet of 159 inland tank barges featuring a combined capacity of 4.8 million barrels, as well as 75 inland towboats.
The company uses its fleet to ship petrochemicals, refined petroleum products, crude oil, natural gas condensate and black oil on the Mississippi River System and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to serve large midstream and global integrated oil companies.
Kirby president and CEO David Grzebinski said: “The acquisition of Higman and its young fleet of well-maintained inland tank barges and towboats is an excellent fit with Kirby’s operations.
“Higman’s inland fleet of 30,000 barrel tank barges, approximately 80% of which are clean and 20% heated black oil vessels, has an average age of seven years, and is one of the younger fleets in the industry.
“With an average age of seven years, the addition of Higman’s towboats to Kirby’s horsepower profile will allow us to avoid significant future capital outlays for new towboats.”
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The latest deal is slated to be closed in the first quarter of this year, subject to certain closing adjustments and customary closing conditions.
The acquisition will be funded through additional borrowings and is expected to allow Kirby to upgrade its fleet and serve its customers more efficiently.