Marquette Transportation Company LLC announced yesterday that BDT Capital Partners LLC has acquired a majority interest in the company.

The deal creates a long-term partnership with current Marquette minority shareholders, including CEO and President John Eckstein, other members of the Eckstein family, and Marquette management. Paducah, Ky.-based Marquette was a portfolio company of KRG Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity group based in Denver.

“We met the BDT team as we were beginning to think about a capital partner for the next 10-plus years,” said John Eckstein. “We were attracted to their long investment horizon and their strategic approach to partnering with me and the Marquette management team. We are very excited about the next decade for Marquette.”

”We are thrilled to partner with John, his family, and the Marquette management team,” said Byron Trott, chairman and CEO of BDT Capital, the Chicago-based private equity arm of BDT & Company. The company specializes in buyouts and investments in family-owned businesses. “Marquette has built its industry-leading position by investing in a world class fleet and providing excellent customer service. Our long-term capital will provide a solid foundation and long runway to pursue a number of exciting growth initiatives.”

“KRG was pleased to partner with John Eckstein and the Marquette management team since March 2007,” said Charlie Gwirtsman, a co-founder and managing director at KRG. “We believe that through some key acquisitions and strategic initiatives, the company was able to execute on John’s vision of providing more value added logistics and services to its world class customers.”

Harris Williams & Co. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Marquette. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1978, Marquette Transportation is a leading provider of towing services on the inland waterways. Through its three operating divisions – River, Gulf-Inland and Offshore – the company provides integrated transportation solutions across multiple waterways stretching from Minneapolis and south of Chicago to New Orleans, across to Houston, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Florida, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast.

Marquette's River unit has more than 50 linehaul towboats ranging from from 4,000 hp to 9,000 hp. Key commodities transported by Marquette are agricultural, mineral, rock, and liquid products. The Gulf-Inland unit has over 60 inland towing vessels up to 3,400 hp. The unit features 33 2,000-hp vessels and three new Z-drives that were delivered in 2014. The Offshore unit has nine offshore tugs, ranging from 2,400 hp to 5,000 hp.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.