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Amherst-based American Steamship to change owners in $260 million deal

American Steamship Co., an Amherst-based operator of Great Lakes vessels, is being sold for $260 million.

Rand Logistics, an affiliate of private equity firm American Industrial Partners, agreed to buy American Steamship from GATX Corp.

“As a leading operator of self-unloading vessels on the Great Lakes, (American Steamship Co.) has been a strong contributor for GATX since 1973,” said Brian A. Kenney, president and CEO of GATX. “This sale allows GATX to focus on our core franchises in global railcar and aircraft spare engine leasing.”

American Steamship operates the largest fleet of U.S. flagged vessels on the Great Lakes, while Rand Logistics provides bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes.

"(American Steamship Co.'s) asset quality and track record of reliability, safety and service in moving raw materials for its customers is world class and we look forward to integrating these two great companies into a new and larger platform for growth under our ownership," said Jason Perri, a partner with American Industrial Partners and chairman of Rand Logistics' board of directors.

American Steamship, which was founded in 1907, has a fleet of vessels ranging from 634 feet to over 1,000 feet. Each year, its vessels move 27 million tons of dry bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal and limestone.

The companies didn't announce what the deal will mean for the Amherst offices or American Steamship employees. Representatives of GATX and Rand Logistics could not immediately be reached to comment on Monday.

The deal is subject to regulatory and closing conditions. GATX, a Chicago-based, publicly traded company, reported profits of $211.2 million for 2019, virtually unchanged from the year before.

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