Benny Cenac Announces Kirby Asset Purchase of Cenac Towing Business
HOUMA, La. – Cenac Marine Services LLC announced on Thursday the signing of an agreement with Kirby Inland Marine, LP to acquire Cenac’s fleet. Details were shared in a press release.
This relationship will continue to enhance Cenac’s marine construction operations, by focusing on its best in class shipyard at Main Iron Works while providing continued security for its loyal maritime employees., even amid continued sluggishness in the local oil and gas industry.
Kirby Corporation transports bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River system, and on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“We welcome this opportunity for our vessels to integrate within Kirby Corporation’s fleet, while we independently foster growth for our company’s construction and maintenance operations,” said chief executive officer Arlen “Benny” Cenac, great-great-grandson of company founder Jock Cenac. “Our company has remained strong through the generations by adapting to new opportunities within the oil, gas and marine transport industries and this continues in that tradition.”
Through a soon-to-be-completed agreement between the two companies, Kirby will take on ownership and operation of Cenac’s 36 towing vessels and 63 barges. Cenac’s marine employees, from deckhands to captains, will be offered jobs by Kirby and the vessels they man will continue serving current routes in what is promised to be a seamless transition.
Cenac Marine will remain headquartered on its Houma campus, which it shall continue to own and operate. Kirby will occupy a small suite of on-site offices on the Cenac campus.
Through the Cenac facilities in Houma as well as those at Main Iron Works, which was acquired in 2015, we shall continue to build state of the art, best in class tugs. Cenac’s continued focus and emphasis on its shipyard operations, accomplishes its strategic focus to increase growth potential that will not only benefit the Cenac companies, as well as its current and future employees.
The decision to enter into an agreement with Kirby for the purchase of its marine assets, Cenac said, is consistent with the company’s philosophy of flexibility that has so far kept it in a profitable, secure and stable position despite the volatility of the industry it is associated with.
“We are in a different time in this business that takes new and different ways to make it all work. With all of us pulling the same way, we will continue our success,” said Cenac. “Every decision we make at our company is measured against the examples of entrepreneurship and courage of my great-great-grandfather. We are confident that Jock Cenac would be proud and pleased with this decision, and the good position it places us in for the future.”
Kirby Corporation (NYSE KEX) is a publicly traded company. Cenac Marine continues as a privately held company.