Rand Logistics to Buy American Steamship Company

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 12, 2020

© Daniel Novak / MarineTraffic.com

© Daniel Novak / MarineTraffic.com

New Jersey-based Rand Logistics announced it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire rival Great Lakes shipping company American Steamship Company (ASC) from Chicago-based GATX Corporation for $260 million.

Headquartered in upstate New York, ASC operates the Lakes' largest U.S.-flagged fleet, annually transporting more than 27 million tons of dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and limestone on vessels ranging in size from 634 feet to over 1,000 feet. ASC reported segment profit of $46.1 million for 2019 (including a one-time gain of $10.5 million), said parent company GATX.

Rand, an affiliate of American Industrial Partners (AIP), said in a statement that the two companies combined will create the largest and most diverse fleet on the Great Lakes, serving different and highly complementary markets with multiple self-unloading vessel classes.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

“We are excited about this transformative combination of two leading vessel operators on the Great Lakes,” said Rand CEO Peter Coxon. “This strategic union will create significant additional shipping capacity through network efficiencies and repositioning of the respective fleets. All of which will allow the resulting company to further improve its customer service and offer additional flexibility and shipping capacity to its customer base.”

“ASC is an iconic American company with a rich 113-year history and an important role in moving the materials that built, sustain and drive the vast industrial capacity of the Great Lakes region. We are thrilled to partner with management and further increase our investment in the Great Lakes shipping and logistics ecosystem,” said Jason Perri, Partner of AIP and Chairman of Rand’s Board of Directors. “ASC’s asset quality and track record of reliability, safety and service in moving raw materials for its customers is world class and we look forward to integrating these two great companies into a new and larger platform for growth under our ownership.”

For GATX, the sale allows the company to sharpen its focus on other core business areas. “As a leading operator of self-unloading vessels on the Great Lakes, ASC has been a strong contributor for GATX since 1973,” said Brian A. Kenney, president and chief executive officer of GATX. “This sale allows GATX to focus on our core franchises in global railcar and aircraft spare engine leasing.”

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