Mergers and Acquisitions

Northern Marine To Acquire Chicago-Area ACBL Fleets

Northern Marine LLC, the marine transportation division of Illinois Michigan & Oil LLC (IMO), announced last week that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Chicago-area fleeting operations of American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL).

Northern Marine will provide barge fleeting and shifting services for the local Chicago, Des Plaines River and Lake Michigan markets. Northern Marine will combine ACBL’s Channahon and Lemont fleets as well as four towboats with IMO’s existing barge fleeting and shifting operation based in Lemont, Joliet and South Chicago.

Derek Egan, Northern Marine chief operating officer, “has formed this new company to further pursue his passion for inland river commerce and begin building his own legacy in the market where he grew up,” according to the announcement from Northern Marine.

“This gives us a way to bring additional value to the market and our people, and is not just another harbor service changing hands,” he said. “We will now serve clients from Channahon to Lake Michigan. We are excited about the opportunity to grow our Chicago operations and build upon the great service and work ACBL has provided the region for years.”

“The Egan family has a long tradition of inland river service in the Chicago area,” said ACBL CEO Mike Ellis. “Our presence in the Chicago market has been instrumental to our success, and we are confident in Northern Marine’s ability to service our current and future needs with the same high-level customer service that ACBL has provided.”

Ellis added, “It was imperative that as part of the transition, all our Chicago area team members were offered the opportunity to grow with Northern Marine.”

With the new business, Northern Marine will have a combined fleeting capacity of more than 300 regulation-size barges. In addition, the company will operate six boats ranging from 1,200 hp. to 2,000 hp., shuttling barges for line boats from Channahon to Lake Michigan harbors.