American Industrial Partners and Oaktree Announce Strategic Partnership in Rand Logistics

Feb 17, 2021 | News

February 17, 2021 – AIP to sell a significant minority stake in leading Great Lakes marine transportation infrastructure platform Rand Logistics to Oaktree’s Transportation Infrastructure Investing Group

Today, American Industrial Partners (“AIP”) agreed to sell a significant minority stake in Rand Logistics, a leading Great Lakes marine transportation company (“Rand” or the “Company”), to funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.’s Transportation Infrastructure Investing Group (“Oaktree”).  This newly formed strategic ownership group will combine AIP’s operationally oriented approach to portfolio management with deep transportation sector expertise provided by Oaktree.  Collectively, the group looks forward to driving steady and stable growth across the Company’s unique and irreplaceable footprint, as it delivers critical bulk cargoes to industrial facilities across the Midwest.

Headquartered in Williamsville, NY, Rand is the leading marine infrastructure provider on the Great Lakes, operating in both the U.S. and Canada.  Following the successful acquisition and integration of American Steamship Company in May 2020, the Company now operates 24 vessels between key destinations across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.  Annually, Rand delivers over 45 million tons of bulk cargoes – including iron ore, stone, grain, and other commodities – among industrial customers in a region that accounts for over a quarter of U.S. GDP.

“We are thrilled to partner with Oaktree as we work to realize our vision for Rand as the premier marine and logistics provider in the most important industrial region in the United States, and possibly the world,” said Jason Perri, partner of AIP and Rand’s Chairman.  “As one of the only infrastructure managers with a strategy dedicated exclusively to transportation assets, Oaktree is positioned to assist AIP and the Company in ushering Rand to its next stage of scale and growth, and cementing its position as one of the foremost U.S. and Canadian industrial infrastructure companies.  We are excited to welcome them to the Rand team.”

“As part of our mandate to invest in highly defensible, essential transportation infrastructure businesses across the United States, we specifically identified Rand as the optimal Jones Act business for our portfolio.  With connectivity to ports across the Great Lakes, we hope to drive connectivity with Watco, one of the largest short-line rail providers in the country, and another anchor investment in our portfolio,” said Emmett McCann, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager of Oaktree’s Transportation Infrastructure Investing strategy, who will be joining the Rand board. “Our enthusiasm for the investment was only strengthened by the opportunity to work alongside a world-class, operationally focused partner like AIP, who shares our values and outlook for growth.”

“On behalf of management and Rand’s employees, we could not have anticipated a better addition to an already excellent partnership with AIP than Oaktree,” said Dave Foster, CEO of Rand Logistics.  “The Oaktree team is well known to us by their sterling reputation in the infrastructure space, as well as their similar investments elsewhere in our ecosystem.  We look forward to working with them and the broader Oaktree platform to create tremendous value for the Company, our customers and all of our stakeholders.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of February.

About American Industrial Partners

American Industrial Partners is an operationally oriented private equity firm that makes control investments in industrial businesses serving domestic and global markets. The firm has deep roots in the industrial economy and has been active in private equity investing since 1989. To date, American Industrial Partners has completed over 100 transactions and currently has more than $7 billion of assets under management on behalf of leading pension, endowment, and financial institutions. For more information on American Industrial Partners, visit www.americanindustrial.com.

About Oaktree

Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $148 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2020. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in credit, private equity, real assets and listed equities. The firm has over 1,000 employees and offices in 19 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at http://www.oaktreecapital.com/.

Oaktree’s Transportation Infrastructure Investing Group seeks to make investments in North American transportation assets, businesses and infrastructure, including airports, seaports and railroads, where it can pursue value-creation strategies geared towards sustainable growth.

About Rand Logistics

Rand Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region. Through its subsidiaries, American Steamship Company, Grand River Navigation, and Lower Lakes Towing, the Company operates a fleet of 24 vessels, including two conventional bulk carriers and 22 self-unloading bulk carriers including three tug/barge units. The Company is the only carrier able to offer significant domestic port to port services in both Canada and the U.S. on the Great Lakes. Rand’s vessels operate under the U.S. Jones Act which reserves domestic waterborne commerce to vessels that are U.S. owned, built and crewed and the Canada Coasting Trade Act which reserves domestic waterborne commerce to Canadian registered and crewed vessels that operate between Canadian ports.

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