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September 25, 1996 - Castle Harlan Agrees To Acquire Praxair's Marine Terminal Companies

NEW YORK, September 25, 1996 -- Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York merchant bank, announced today that an investment partnership it manages had agreed to buy, in conjunction with management, the Statia group of marine terminal companies from Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), for $210 million. The companies will be combined as Statia Terminals Group N.Y. and will be one of the world's largest independent marine terminal companies.


Statia's primary business is providing independent terminal storage and other services for crude oil, refined products and other bulk liquids to crude oil producers, integrated oil companies, oil traders and refiners and petrochemical companies.


Statia owns and operates three large storage and transshipment facilities --- on the island of St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles; in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, Canada; and in Brownsville, Texas. The Caribbean and Nova Scotia facilities accommodate the world's largest oil tankers.


David B. Pittaway, a managing director at Castle Harlan who negotiated the transaction, said that Statia was one of the five largest independent marine terminal companies in the world and "a company of great potential."


"The demand for petroleum products is strong and continues to rise in the United States, Statia's primary market," he said. 'We are confident that these long-term trends will continue to provide great opportunities for the company."


He noted that the company's revenues had grown through acquisitions and new business from $87 million in 1990 to more than $135 million last year, and its storage capacity in the same period grew from 4.4 million barrels to more than 20 million barrels.


Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and satisfactory financial arrangements, Pittaway said.


In addition to the terminal facilities, Statia also sells bunker fuel to ships, blends and processes petroleum products and offers emergency and spill response services.


The company is being acquired by Castle Harlan Partners II, L.P., a private equity investment partnership with capital of $275 million. Since Castle Harlan's founding in 1987, it has completed acquisitions exceeding $2.5 billion.


Castle Harlan was founded by John K. Castle, a pioneer in institutional private equity investing through limited partnerships and the former president and chief executive officer of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the investment banking firm, and by Leonard M. Harlan, founder and former chairman of The Harlan Company, a diversified real estate finance and advisory firm that was sold earlier this year to Ernst & Young, the accounting firm.


Castle Harlan's portfolio companies have included Delaware Management Company, a Philadelphia money-management firm with more than $30 billion under management; Ethan Allen Interiors, the furniture manufacturer and retailer; Smarte Carte, the airport luggage-cart rental company; and Morton's Restaurant Group, owner of the Morton's of Chicago steakhouses.