Pasha Group acquisition of Horizon Lines clears major hurdle

The Pasha Group took one step closer to taking over the Hawaii trade-lane business of Horizon Lines Inc. after recently receiving clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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The Pasha Group took one step closer to taking over the Hawaii trade-lane business of Horizon Lines Inc. after recently receiving clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The family-owned global logistics and transportation company announced its plans to purchase the business last year for approximately $141.5 million.

According to a press release, the clearance from DOJ paves the way for an anticipated final closing before the end of July. The Pasha Group, a Jones Act shipping and integrated logistics company, has been serving the mainland to Hawaii trade lane since 2005.

Upon closing the deal, Pasha Hawaii will assume operations for all of Horizon’s Hawaii business, including Horizon’s four container ships in the Hawaii trade lane.

Laurie LaGrange of Ontai-LaGrange and Associates, a public relations firm, spoke on behalf of the company saying it’s too early to tell what will happen after the acquisition occurs.

“It’s too early to say yet whether Pasha will increase or adjust Horizon’s current shipping schedule, but Pasha should be releasing all of this info within the coming weeks,” she said.

She also said it’s too early to tell how the buy will impact the number of Hawaii Island employees.

The next step for the company is to do more review before the actual closing takes place in a few weeks, she said.

The deal also means The Pasha Group will acquire Horizon subsidiaries Hawaii Stevedores Inc. and the California-based operations of Sea-Logix LLC, which provides trucking and warehousing services, along with Sunrise Operations, a subsidiary that will include Horizon’s vessels and Hawaii-based employees.

After closing, Pasha will partner with Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. to provide ship management of the vessels and crew through Crowley subsidiary Marine Transport Management Inc.

In becoming part of Pasha, Horizon’s Hawaii business will operate alongside Pasha Hawaii’s existing operations, which includes two Jones Act-qualified vessels. The Jones Act requires vessels shipping goods in the U.S. to have been built in America and be crewed and owned by U.S. citizens while flying the U.S. flag.

According to a press release, by expanding its operations with Horizon’s Hawaii fleet, the company will be able to provide customers with a wider offering of high-quality, scheduled shipping and logistics services for containers, refrigerated containers and a variety of roll-on and roll-off cargoes.

“We are excited for the opportunity to welcome Horizon’s Hawaii family of employees to the Pasha team,” said George Pasha IV, president and CEO in the release. “I am confident that the combination of our two businesses will allow us to more effectively serve our new expanded customer base. I look forward to working together with all of our customers to assure we deliver solutions that meet and exceed expectations.”

The company plans to make upgrades to the Horizon fleet, and attest that environmental responsibility and stewardship will be a focus.

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The hurdle also paves the way for Matson Inc. to purchase parts of Hawaii Horizon, as well. Immediately following Pasha’s acquisition of Horizon’s Hawaii trade-lanes, Matson will acquire the company pursuant to a merger. Calls to Matson requesting more information were not returned by press time.

Email Megan Moseley at mmoseley@westhawaiitoday.com.

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