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Maritime Partners Acquires Maersk's USMMI

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 26, 2023

(Photo: Hendrick Dickson / USN Military Sealift Command)

(Photo: Hendrick Dickson / USN Military Sealift Command)

Maritime Partners, a Louisiana-based provider of maritime financing solutions primarily focused on Jones Act vessels, announced that on September 20, 2023, one of its managed funds acquired Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. Marine Management LLC (USMMI) from Maersk Line, Limited.

USMMI owns and operates U.S. flag vessels—including one owned maritime support vessel, three owned tankers, and one bareboat chartered tanker—for charter to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. It also performs operation and maintenance of U.S. government-owned vessels, and currently has one O&M contract supporting U.S. Army training watercraft in Japan.

In addition, USMMI was recently awarded a new operating agreement for the U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Tanker Security Program. In connection with this award, USMMI has entered into an agreement to acquire another medium range tanker, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The company will continue to do business as USMMI without significant changes to its current management team.

“We’re excited to add USMMI to our portfolio,” said Bick Brooks, co-founder and CEO of Maritime Partners. “USMMI’s long-term contracts with a strong customer base will nicely complement our existing portfolio of assets by providing diversification across counterparties, assets and end markets. We’re excited to partner with USMMI’s long-tenured and talented management team in the next phase of USMMI’s evolution.”

The announcement confirms rumors that had been circulating for several weeks after Maersk Line, Limited—a subsidiary of Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller - Maersk—had informed select partners in August that its sale of USMMI was immanent.

"The current ownership structure of USMMI has for some time limited USMMI’s opportunities to compete on a level playing field and fully unlock its growth potential," Maersk Line, Limited said in a statement this week confirming the deal. "The decision was therefore made to sell USMMI, and after an extensive process, Maritime Partners was found to be the best owner. The sale has received regulatory approvals."

Maersk Line, Limited will continue to own and operate 20 U.S. flag registered containerships and three roll on/roll off (RoRo) vessels operating around the world to support the U.S. with government related and humanitarian missions, the company said.

For Maritime Partners, the move represents another notable acquisition as it diversifies into new business areas. The company, which has traditionally focused on brown water assets such as towboats and barges, in August reached a deal to acquire AMSC subsidiary American Tanker Holding Company, which owns a fleet of 10 oceangoing Jones Act tankers.

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