October 9 - American Electric Power (AEP) has signed an agreement to sell its commercial barge transportation subsidiary, AEP River Operations, to American Commercial Lines (ACL), which is owned by Platinum Equity.
HLPFI reported on March 24, 2015 that AEP had engaged Morgan Stanley to explore strategic alternatives for its inland barge subsidiary, which is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, and owns around 2,301 barges, as well as 56 tugs.
AEP acquired the barge transportation business, formerly known as MEMCO, from Progress Energy in 2001.
Upon close of the sale - which the company says is expected in the fourth quarter of 2015 - ACL will acquire AEP River Operations by purchasing all the stock of AEP Resources, the parent company of the barge business. ACL will then assume all assets and liabilities of AEP River Operations.
AEP will retain ownership of its captive barge fleet that delivers coal to the company's regulated coal-fuelled power plants owned by Appalachian Power, Kentucky Power and Indiana Michigan Power. No decision has been made about the future of that business, confirmed the company.