Tuesday, February 4, 2020

American Commercial Lines announces plan to reorganize debt

American Commercial Lines Inc., the parent company of ACBL, says it will file for bankruptcy protection as it seeks to remove $1 billion in debt from its books.

From the official statement posted on ACL's website:

American Commercial Lines Inc. (together with certain of its affiliates, “the Company” or “ACL”) is continuing to provide reliable, innovative and competitive barge transportation solutions as it takes action to address its financial position.
ACL has reached an agreement with its lenders on a prepackaged plan to recapitalize the business and significantly reduce the Company’s debt. Under the terms of the plan, ACL will receive $200 million in new capital to support liquidity and investments in the business. In addition, the agreement provides for a reduction of funded debt by approximately $1 billion.
To implement this plan, which has the support of a substantial majority of the Company’s lenders, ACL expects to file voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the coming days.
The Company expects its operations to continue as normal throughout the contemplated court-supervised process. Upon emergence, ACL will continue to provide customers with competitive and reliable barge transportation services.
This was expected.

M/V Paul G. Blazer at South Point

This evening after work I went over to South Point, Ohio, where the M/V Paul G. Blazer was moving some barges around.

The Blazer was built in 1987 by Quality Shipyards in Houma, La., for Ashland Petroleum. It was one of three similar boats, the other two being the Valvoline and the SuperAmerica. When Ashland formed a joint venture with Marathon Petroleum called Marathon Ashland Petroleum, or MAP, the boats retained their names. After Marathon bought out Ashland's interest in the joint venture, the Valvoline was renamed the M/V Nashville and the SuperAmerica became the M/V Ohio Valley.

Paul G. Blazer was the founder of what became Ashland Oil, the parent company of Ashland Petroleum. The company is now known as Ashland Global and has pretty much shed its past in the petroleum refining and marketing industry.

In case you're wondering, in the background of these photos is the  Marathon tank farm at Kenova, W.Va., which receives refined products by pipeline from the refinery on the Big Sandy River at Catlettsburg, Ky., and are loaded onto barges.