Maersk Inc., the U.S. arm of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, agreed to sell Direct ChassisLink, its chassis-leasing subsidiary, to the private equity firm Littlejohn & Co.
Maersk Inc. expects to complete the sale in March. It said the transaction would have no impact on the group’s results. Maersk Inc. established DCLI in June 2009, becoming the first container line to get out of the business of providing chassis for merchant haulage as part of its services to importers.
Since then most other carriers have begun to phase out their chassis operations, with many of them turning them over to the chassis pools operated by Chassis Consolidated Management, the co-op arm of the Ocean Carriers Equipment Management Association.
DCLI rents and leases chassis to drayage companies and steamship lines in the United States. It owns or leases approximately 66,000 chassis through a network of 129 locations strategically located on or near key ports and other intermodal hubs in the United States.
Maersk Inc. Chairman and CEO J. Russell Bruner said the sale would allow the company to Group to reallocate resources to the strategic focus areas within shipping, energy and related activities.
"We have been pleased with the business levels, the profitability and the quality of management at DCLI. It is, however, a provider of chassis, and it does not fit in our long-term strategic focus,” Bruner said.
Littlejohn is a Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm that focuses investments in middle-market companies that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth that can benefit from its operational and strategic approach.