Bouchard files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc., the nation’s largest independently-owned oceangoing petroleum barge company, announced yesterday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Melville, N.Y.-based Bouchard said that it intends to fund the Chapter 11 process with debtor-in-possession financing, which will provide the company with the liquidity needed to maintain normal operations while it undertakes certain key operational restructuring initiatives. This includes ensuring the fleet is in full compliance with all operating regulations. As part of its operational restructuring, the company will fill several key open executive management positions and intends to pay employees, suppliers, and other trade vendors in full.

Bouchard has appointed Mark Berger of Portage Point Partners LLC to serve as chief restructuring officer during the Chapter 11 process.

Throughout this process, Bouchard said it aims to continue to serve its customers and trade partners and ensure the safety of its employees and fleet operations. The company will file customary first day motions that, once approved by the bankruptcy court, will allow the company to smoothly transition its business into Chapter 11.

Court filings and other documents related to the court-supervised process are available at or by calling Bouchard’s claims agent, Stretto, at (855) 923-1038 (toll-free) or (949) 236-4792 (international).

Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Jackson Walker LLP are acting as the company’s legal counsel. Portage Point Partners LLC is serving as restructuring advisor, and Jefferies LLC is acting as investment banker.

Founded in 1918, Bouchard’s first cargo was a shipment of coal. By 1931, Bouchard had acquired its first oil barge. Over the past 100 years, Bouchard has expanded its fleet, which now consists of 25 barges and 26 tugs. The barges range in capacity from 35,000 bbls. to 260,000 bbls.

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