For the first time in over 50 years the Shields family has handed over the helm of their marine businesses to a new owner. Island Tug and Barge was acquired by Tidewater Transportation and Terminals in September this year. ITB Marine Group and its divisions of Island Tug and Island Subsea are now effectively owned by Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a New York-based private equity firm whose portfolio includes Tidewater and a number of other transportation, energy and power companies. During an exclusive interview with BC Shipping News, Tidewater President and CEO Bob Curcio describes the motivation behind the acquisition and what the future holds for one of the West Coast’s most recognizable company names.
Tidewater itself has a long history in the Pacific Northwest. Dating back to 1932, when Lew Russell Sr. set the framework for Tidewater Barge Lines, the company has gone through a succession of acquisitions and today, encompasses four subsidiaries — Tidewater Barge Lines, Tidewater Terminal Company, Tidewater Environmental Services, and now Tidewater Canada, Inc.
Tidewater Barge Lines handles grain, petroleum products, wood products, liquid and dry fertilizers, and all types of containerized freight with boats, personnel, and specialty barges that are capable of accommodating a wide range of other transportation needs over the full length of the Columbia-Snake River System.
Photo above: The Island Scout and Island Tugger (photo by Carolyn Matt).
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