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Grand Rapids-based Auxo Investment Partners has sold New Orleans-based M/G Transport Services, a barge transportation company it acquired in 2017. (COURTESY FILE PHOTO) Grand Rapids-based Auxo Investment Partners has sold New Orleans-based M/G Transport Services, a barge transportation company it acquired in 2017. (COURTESY FILE PHOTO)

Auxo Investment Partners sells New Orleans barge transport firm

BY Monday, October 10, 2022 01:41pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Private equity firm Auxo Investment Partners has sold a New Orleans-based barge transportation company that it acquired five years ago.

The sale of M/G Transport Services to Maritime Partners LLC, based in Metairie, La., marks a successful exit for the Grand Rapids-based Auxo, which acquired the company in November 2017 and made strategic investments in the company’s barge fleet, in analytics to improve fleet utilization, and in new business attraction efforts.

“This is an ideal outcome for all parties. Maritime Partners gets a great business with a strong management team, M/G’s management team gets a terrific new owner — an important consideration for us — and we at Auxo deliver an incredible return for our investors,” Auxo Managing Partner Jeff Helminski said in an announcement on the sale’s closing.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

M/G Transport Services operates a fleet of more than 300 barges on the lower Mississippi River and along the West Canal to Houston, Texas that transport petroleum coke, sugar, barite and other materials and commodities.

Maritime Partners co-founder and CEO Bick Brooks said in a statement that M/G’s contractual business complements its existing platform and diversifies its vessel capacity solutions. The deal also brings additional resources to M/G to add value for its customers.

RBC Capital Markets LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to M/G. Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummisky PLC, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Winston & Strawn LLP and BDO USA LLP also advised M/G on the sale.

M/G Transport Services formed part of the private equity firm’s Auxo Marine platform, which also includes Muskegon-based Andrie Inc., that operates a fleet of tugs and barges throughout the Great Lakes waterway.

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