Texas-based private equity firm acquires Tennessee barge operator.
Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, and McCombs Partners, the San Antonio-based investment division of the McCombs family, have acquired Southern Towing Co. (STC), a Memphis-based operator of tugs and barges that services the inland waterways system. STC, founded in 1962, is responsible for servicing customers such as those in the farming, coal and aggregates business, through the shipment of material through the Mississippi River system. STC’s assets include more than 20 vessels and more than 60 barges.
In a release, Bill Stegbauer, president of STC, says, “We believe this partnership with Trive positions STC to continue its success and growth while maintaining its commitment to customer service and quality. The future has never been brighter for our company, so the timing of this partnership positions us very well.”
The top management at STC is expected to stay with the company, according to a spokesman for McCombs. “Trive could not be more pleased to partner with STC. The management team and employees have built a very strong business with a true focus on the customer and serving the needs of the market. STC is the rare company that has achieved growth in a thoughtful and strategic way, and we look forward to growing the business and capitalizing on the opportunities in front of the Company” says Conner Searcy, managing partner of Trive.
Rad Weaver, CEO of McCombs Partners, says, “It is always exciting for us to partner with sharp investors like Trive. STC possesses many of the qualities we look for in potential investments: terrific long-term customers, strong asset base, competitive technology advantages and high barriers to entry in the marketplace. We look forward to working with Trive and STC management to find ways to better serve our customers while identifying new growth opportunities.
In a follow up, a spokesman for McCombs, says, “We respect the entrepreneurial spirit with which Southern Towing’s management team has developed a thoughtful and customer-focused operating philosophy. By maintaining Southern Towing’s commitment to customer service and industry safety, we look forward to the continued development and expansion of our existing customer relationships.”
“McCombs Partners believes additional opportunities exist to partner with family business owners throughout this industry. To this end, we are 100 percent focused on the continued implementation of the business principles developed by Red McCombs over the last 60+ years – that is, to be the ‘partner of choice’ for family business owners and entrepreneurs who are committed to building world-class companies.”