Carlyle Group sells Horizon Lines to Castle Harlan
The Carlyle Group, a Washington-based private equity firm, has sold Horizon Lines, a U.S.-flag container shipping and technology company, to Castle Harlan, a private equity firm in New York, for $650 million.
Carlyle would not say how much of that amount was cash and how much was assumed debt. Carlyle paid $300 million when it purchased CSX Lines, as Horizon Lines was then known, from CSX Corp. in February 2003. At the time of that acquisition, Carlyle invested $80 million, the rest being debt.
Gregory Ledford, managing director and head of Carlyle’s automotive and transportation group, said Carlyle had been motivated to sell Horizon Lines because of its “strong performance in a strong capital market.”
“Timing is everything, and this was a very good move for everyone,” Ledford said.
Charles G. “Chuck” Raymond, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Lines, said there would be no change in Horizon Lines’ management, and the company’s operations would remain autonomous.
Horizon Services Group, which provides software for logistics and transportation providers, was part of the sale and will remain part of the company, Raymond said.
“We’ve been impressed with the results that Horizon Lines has achieved over the last several years, and look forward to working with the management team to take Horizon Lines to the next level of profitability,” said Marcel Fournier, Castle Harlan’s managing director.
Castle Harlan Inc. was established in 1987 by John K. Castle, former president and CEO of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, an investment banking firm, and Leonard M. Harlan, former chairman of The Harlan Co. Inc., a diversified real estate and corporate finance advisory firm.
Castle Harlan is focused on the investments and management of two investment partnerships, Castle Harlan Partners II, L.P., and Castle Harlan Partners III L.P.
CHP II, formed in 1992 with $275 million of committed capital, was fully invested in 1996. CHP III, formed in 1997 with $630 million, acquired Horizon Lines.
Castle Harlan has invested in companies as diverse as Ethan Allen Interiors Inc.; Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc.; US Compression Inc.; AdobeAir Inc.; US Synthetic Corp., and Land ‘N’ Sea Distributing Inc.
This is Castle Harlan’s first acquisition from The Carlyle Group, Ledford said.