N.O.-area tank farm company bought for $1 billion

Macquarie acquires remaining half of International-Matex

Macquarie Infrastructure Co. LLC will buy the remaining half of New Orleans-based International-Matex Tank Terminals under a $1 billion cash-and-stock deal.

Under the agreement, New York-based Macquarie will pay $910 million in cash and $115 million in stock to the Coleman family, who also were involved in New Orleans real estate developments.

“We’re acquiring a business that we know from our involvement with it over the past eight years and, more importantly, a business with a strong foundation built over many years of stewardship on the part of the Coleman family,” Macquarie CEO James Hooke said.

Macquarie will work with International-Matex to accelerate its growth, in part by increasing the amount of capital deployed into new projects, he said.

The sale marks the end of the Coleman family’s management of International-Matex, which was established by New Orleans civic and business leader James J. Coleman Sr. in 1939 with a single terminal. The company now has a dozen tank farms, including facilities in Avondale, Geismar, Gretna and St. Rose. Coleman and his family were involved in a number of major real estate developments, including the International River Center, the New Orleans Hilton, the Windsor Court and the Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome.

Two of Coleman’s sons, International-Matex CEO Thomas Coleman and Chairman James Coleman, are expected to retire, along with James O. Coleman, head of government relations. Thomas Coleman is the father of Dathel Georges, who, along with her husband John, bought The Advocate in April 2013.

Thomas Coleman said he could not comment on the Macquarie acquisition. Under the agreement, all inquiries must go through Macquarie.

Hooke will initially act as the CEO of International-Matex. Macquarie’s International-Matex asset director, James May, will become the CFO. Both have served on the International-Matex board of directors for the past five years.

John Siragusa, International-Matex’s current CFO, will assume the role of chief banking officer. Richard Courtney, International-Matex’s president and chief operating officer will continue in his role.

Macquarie bought the first half of International-Matex in May 2006 for $257 million. In addition to its tank farms, the company owns an airport services business, a gas processing and distribution business, and power and energy investments.

The latest deal is expected to boost Macquarie’s free cash flow — cash flow minus capital spending — to $4.55 per share in 2014. In February, Macquarie estimated its free cash flow between $4.35 and $4.50. The majority of that money will be distributed to investors through quarterly dividends.

Hooke said the acquisition will strengthen the company’s business model. Macquarie does not expect to complete the deal before the end of the month.

International-Matex has provided a big boost for Macquarie’s performance. International-Matex’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a key measure of financial performance, has jumped from $67 million in 2005 to $279.6 million for the 12 months ended March 31.