Ingram Barge Company LLC announced November 10 that its wholly owned subsidiary, Houston Fleeting Services LLC, has entered into an agreement to acquire the business assets of Houston-based Cheryl K LLC and San Jacinto River Fleet LLC. The move is designed to strengthen Ingram Barge’s position in the inland marine industry by expanding reach and capabilities to the Houston area and along the Texas Gulf Coast, the company said in the announcement.
The purchase of the assets of the companies allows Ingram Barge to expand its footprint into the Houston area while simultaneously growing its logistics, dry barge and liquid barge businesses by adding critical infrastructure, vessels and personnel.
“Cheryl K and its San Jacinto River Fleet have long been trusted players in Houston,” said David O’Loughlin, Ingram Barge president and CEO. “Their track record of success alongside similar family values of our two companies make them a great addition to our team. This acquisition positions us very well for continued strength and growth for the long term.”
Cheryl K, with more than 35 years of marine towing experience in the Gulf Coast region, operates 11 towboats, ranging from 800 hp. to 2,000 hp. San Jacinto River Fleet is one of the largest single fleeting facilities in the Houston area. It offers fleeting, shift boat services, towing, and other barge and boat services in the Houston Ship Channel and surrounding areas. Its facility is located just north of the I-10 bridge on the San Jacinto River.
Ingram said it plans to integrate personnel and operations into the larger Ingram Barge business.
“The words family and team say it all,” said Earl Thrift Jr., president of Cheryl K and San Jacinto River Fleet. “The Cheryl K LLC and San Jacinto River Fleet employees have been a tight-knit team and are looking forward to becoming part of the Ingram family. This will be a great fit for our group and team to progress to the next level.”
“This is a great strategic move for our company and our customers,” said John Roberts, Ingram Barge chief operating officer. “The capabilities this opens up for us will really allow us to control our future in a meaningful way for our existing and future customers.”
The transaction is expected to close by the end of November.
Ingram Barge is part of the Ingram Marine Group, based in Nashville, Tenn., which includes two primary operating units: Ingram Barge and Custom Fuel Services LLC. Ingram Barge operates a fleet of approximately 125 towboats and 4,500 barges that transport aggregates, grain, fertilizer, coal, ores, alloys, steel products, chemicals and other products. Custom Fuel Services operates 11 floating fueling stations on the Mississippi and Ohio River systems and provides marine fuels, lubricants and other miscellaneous services to towboats, barges, stevedoring rigs and ships. In addition, Ingram Barge operates a ship anchorage in Louisiana.
Caption for photo: The mv. Tyler T of the Cheryl K fleet. (Photo by Jeff L. Yates)