Mergers and Acquisitions

Middle River Marine Acquires Kindra Lake Towing

Middle River Marine LLC announced on November 21 the acquisition of assets of Kindra Lake Towing LP of Chicago, Ill. The agreement will expand Middle River’s bulk material logistic operations with the addition of five vessels, marine equipment and a harbor slip in South Chicago. “This agreement creates an organization better able to serve customers and grow in the marketplace,” Middle River Marine said in a news release.

“Our people make the difference, and we’re happy to welcome new coworkers to expand the MRM team,” said Aaron Halcomb, president of Middle River Marine. “For our customers, this further extends our ability to economically, efficiently and sustainably meet their logistics needs.” Halcomb told The Waterways Journal that John Kindra, founder and president of Kindra Lake Towing, would stay on and work on various projects. All employees would remain in their current roles. Middle River will expand its affreightment, towing, fleeting and terminal services to customers on the Illinois Waterway and Lake Michigan. Additionally, Middle River plans to increase its workforce and add more experience to its team. “This marks another step forward in MRM’s ability to serve the construction materials, agricultural products and industrial commodities in Illinois, northwest Indiana and the Great Lakes,”  the release stated.

Kindra Lake, through its two companies, began in South Chicago in 1983 cleaning and repairing barges. Beginning in 1992, Kindra occupied a unique niche as it began moving barges between South Chicago and Burns Harbor, Gary, Buffington, and Indiana Harbor in northwest Indiana as well as Lemont, Ill. The firm has provided Coast Guard-approved fleeting areas for tank barges as well as marine equipment and services for special projects.

“Since starting Kindra Lake Towing in 1992 with three tugboats, it has been fun, challenging, rewarding and a pleasure growing our companies,” John Kindra said. “We have grown internally through the development and promotion of our employees. Our continued success has been due to the loyalty of our customers.”

After buying the assets of Calumet Marine Towing in 1992, Kindra joined the few operators moving barges across Lake Michigan to Indiana, using “V-hull” vessels for operations on the open waters of Lake Michigan. Depending on the weather, the barge can be towed or pushed on the lake.

Middle River Marine is a full-service harbor and fleeting company providing marine towing and a variety of marine and terminal services, with a service area ranging from St. Louis to Chicago and Calumet Harbor. The company began river and rail terminal operations on the Great Lakes and the Illinois river system in 1998. Terminal operations now include South Chicago, Calumet Park, Lemont, Joliet, Rock Creek and Henry. With the Kindra Lake Towing acquisition, Middle River’s marine operations have grown to include 11 vessels and an 88-barge fleet with more than 120 total employees.

The company is certified through the American Waterways Operators’ Responsible Carrier Program, and its vessels are Subchapter M compliant.