Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond, CEO and President of Horizon Lines Inc.
, said in an interview that the carrier, which completed a initial public offering (IPO) last September, “will generate significant free cash going forward and that will enable us to pay down debt and grow.” Mr. Raymond added that the anticipated acquisitions “will not be small deals.”
Since going public at $10 a share on September 27, Horizon’s (HRZ) stock has increased as much as 30 per cent and has exceeded the average performance of 2005 IPOs compiled by Renaissance Capital
. “It indicates what we are capable of achieving,” said Raymond.
While some analysts have urged the carrier to begin replacing some of its older tonnage, Chuck Raymond noted that there are “well-defined plans” for updating the fleet but would not disclose specifics at this time. “An announcement will be forthcoming,” he said, noting that the goal is to increase business in the major markets of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico served by Horizon Lines.
Among the other opportunities Horizon Lines has been exploring is short sea shipping along the U. S. coast and even on intercoastal waterways. Delivery by sea is a potential alternative to trucking which has jammed the highway systems and various pro-active groups have been investigating these possibilities.
“Through its 50-year history our company has been in the forefront of innovation and cutting-edge transportation,” noted Mr. Raymond. Horizon was founded as Sea-Land Service by Malcom McLean as the carrier that commenced containerized shipments of cargo in 1956.