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Auxo Investment Partners Acquires Great Lakes Marine Transportation Company Andrie LLC

Private investment firm Auxo Investment Partners announced today that it is partnering with the Andrie family with an investment in Andrie LLC, a Michigan-based Jones Act bulk transporter of specialty products including liquid asphalt, cement, light oil petroleum products, and calcium chloride throughout the Great Lakes. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, marks Auxo’s sixth acquisition in 16 months, and builds on the firm’s December 2017 acquisition of M/G Transport Services, a leading dry-bulk transportation and logistics company based in New Orleans.

Andrie, founded in 1988, is a recognized shipping leader throughout the Great Lakes, working extensively with large global customers. In a space that values service, safety and reliability in transporting products with specialized needs, Andrie has earned an excellent reputation with its customers and has successfully grown its business, increasing its fleet of four vessels to 19 vessels, its cargo capacity from 12,000 tons to over 125,000 tons and its workforce from 25 to 150.

“This company has been a big part of my family since its earliest days, so deciding to bring in a new partner wasn’t a decision we took lightly,” said Stan Andrie Jr., who will remain as the company’s CEO. “But I was struck by Auxo Investment Partners’ leadership, Midwest roots and strong ties to the marine industry as a result of its ownership of M/G Transport Services. Not only is this new partnership a cultural fit that will preserve the legacy of what we’ve accomplished, it’s one that will position us for strong growth in the years ahead.”

Andrie LLC was founded by Barbara Andrie, mother of the current CEO. Cement makes up most of the company’s shipping volume, followed by asphalt, light oil products, and calcium chloride, all of which require special handling. Andrie’s strong safety record with those products as well as its experienced and dedicated management team have led to strong relationships with its customers.

A Growing, Diverse Marine Industry Platform

While Andrie and M/G Transport Services transport different products over different geographies (M/G Transport Services operates on rivers), both are dominant players in their respective spaces, and share a passion for excellent customer service. Additionally, Greg and John Binion, well-known and respected operators in the industry, will serve on Andrie’s new board, as they do for M/G Transport Services. The two companies will operate under the newly created Auxo Marine platform.

“We are excited to have Andrie join M/G Transportation Services on the Auxo Marine platform,” said Greg Binion, Auxo Marine’s Chairman. “With a history spanning three decades of delivering safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation services to its customers, Andrie brings robust coastwise capabilities to Auxo Marine. Andrie’s customers, who are sophisticated global companies with complex transportation needs, are highly complimentary of Andrie and the vast majority have rewarded Andrie with long-term contracts. Andrie is the dominant player in a strong and growing market, much like M/G is in the dry-bulk space, and although the companies will operate separately, they’ll have a close and coordinated relationship, sharing best practices and potentially leveraging capabilities. The addition of Andrie is a perfect fit with our strategy of adding industry-segment leaders to build out the Auxo Marine platform.”

“Delivering world-class performance transporting specialty products in the Great Lakes isn’t easy, but Andrie has done it with much success for three decades on behalf of demanding global enterprise customers,” said Auxo Managing Partner Jack Kolodny. “Along with praise from customers, we were struck by the values of the company’s leadership, their extensive industry knowledge and their strong track record when it comes to safety. We at Auxo believe that we can not only preserve Andrie’s legacy but enhance its future value – especially as they pursue growth opportunities from existing and new customers.”

“The Andrie family has built a strong company – which is clear given its unrelenting focus on highly trained crews, company culture and unrivaled customer service,” added Auxo Managing Partner Jeff Helminski. “Additionally, Andrie will also work very well with the team at M/G Transport Services as we build out a broader platform for both companies.”

Advisors and lenders on the transaction included Capstone Headwaters, Miller Johnson PLC, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, BDO USA LLP, PNC Bank, Aon Plc, Krauter & Co, and Advantage Benefits.

Counting Andrie and M/G Transport Services, Auxo has acquired six companies since its October 2016 founding. In addition to Auxo Marine, Auxo has developed a platform of industry-leading cutting die manufacturers, including Bernal Rotary Dies, Atlas Die, Atlas Chem Milling (ACM), and Midway Rotary Die Solutions. The investment firm also purchased Prestige Stamping, Inc., a high-speed niche manufacturer of custom engineered stampings for the fastener industry.

A Long-Term, Collaborative Approach

Auxo was named after the ancient Greek goddess of growth and the firm seeks to partner with companies that meet the following investment criteria:

  • North America-based
  • Manufacturing, industrial, value-added distribution or business services industries
  • EBITDA (cash flow) of $1.5-$15 million
  • Owner-operators seeking retirement or family succession planning solutions; or existing teams seeking to grow their businesses
  • Prefer majority-control investments but will consider select minority-partner opportunities

Auxo’s flexible capital model allows for long-term growth-oriented decision-making without artificial deadlines. The structure was specifically designed for family businesses facing a generational hand-off or seeking outside capital or partners to fuel growth.
Source: Auxo Investment Partners

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