Mergers and Acquisitions

Southern Towing Company Acquires Devall 

Southern Towing Company (STC), an affiliate of CC Industries (CCI), announced February 2 it has acquired Devall Towing from the Devall family.

Devall Towing is a towboat and barge operator for specialty chemicals along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and Lower Mississippi River. The company operates a fleet of 36 towboats and 125 liquid tank barges, as well as fleeting locations in Lake Charles, La., and Victoria, Texas, with combined capacity for up to 175 barges. Devall Diesel Services provides marine diesel sales and service with dealerships in Louisiana and Texas.

Devall Towing was founded in 1952 by Alfred Devall and is headquartered in Sulphur, La.

The company will continue to operate under the Devall brand as a new division of STC, and the members of the management team will continue in their current roles, STC said in the announcement.

“The Devall family and team are excited to partner with both Southern Towing and CCI,” said Kenny Devall, chief operating officer of Devall, who will continue to lead the company. “We believe that the cross-selling opportunities with Southern Towing are extremely compelling, and that CCI’s extensive experience and resources position Devall for future growth.”

STC, a portfolio company of CCI, is one of the nation’s largest transporters of liquid fertilizer and other products along the inland waterways of the United States. STC operates a fleet of 27 towboats and 72 barges and provides marine transportation services to customers in agriculture and industrial markets. Southern Towing was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn.

The acquisition expands STC’s operations into specialty chemical products. The combination of Devall’s longstanding customer relationships with STC’s upriver capabilities allows Devall and STC to provide integrated marine transportation solutions across the Gulf Intracoastal and U.S. inland waterways.

“The acquisition significantly enhances Southern Towing’s Gulf Coast capabilities,” said Ed Grimm, CEO of Southern Towing Company. “We look forward to growing our transportation capabilities while continuing to provide superior service to the customers we are privileged to serve.”

Bill Crown, president and CEO of CCI, said, “Devall shares the same core values and vision that we have at STC and CCI. We look forward to building on those shared values to further invest in and grow Devall and STC.”

CC Industries is the Chicago-based holding company for the Crown family’s privately-held companies, including, in addition to STC: GILLIG, Great Dane Trailers, J.L. Clark, Miracapo Pizza Company, Provisur Technologies, Riverside Rail, Selig and Trail King Industries. The Crown family has a long history of owning and growing industrial businesses. The Crown family’s original business dates itself to 1919 when Henry Crown and his brothers started Material Service Corporation. CCI acquired STC in 2019 (WJ, June 7, 2019).