Inland waterways operator Kirby Corp., using its strong financial position to expand its service reach, will buy the ship fueling operations of Enterprise Marine Services.
The purchase for $53 million will extend Kirby’s ship bunkering business, now focused on Houston, to Florida and bring Houston-based Kirby up to $35 million in annual revenue.
Kirby news from JOC:
Barge Operator Kirby Profit Slides 12 Percent
Kirby expects to complete the purchase this month, bringing the company 21 inland and offshore tank barges and 15 inland towboats and offshore tugboats that provide fueling services to vessels including container ships and freighters.
The acquisition follows a year in which Kirby saw its net profit slip 7.7 percent to $116.2 million but end the year with an improvement in the fourth quarter and a strong balance sheet.
The $31.6 million net profit in the fourth quarter was 9 percent better than the same period the year before and a 10.3 percent improvement in revenue, to $286.3 million, helped Kirby end 2010 with some $195 million in cash, nearly double the cash holdings from the year before.