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Matlack Selling Off Assets, Fading Away

Matlack Systems Inc of Wilmington DE, an industry pioneer and once the largest tank truck carrier in the United States, will be broken up and sold during the next two months.

The company announced June 7 that it had signed letters of intent to sell its terminals and other assets to Superior Bulk Logistics Inc and Quality Distribution Inc. Matlack officials said they expect to complete the sale within 60 days of that date.

Announcement of the asset sale came 11 weeks after Matlack filed for Chapter 11 protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code. The Chapter 11 announcement March 29 came after press reports questioned the continued viability of the company.

Ranked third in Modern Bulk Transporter's latest Gross Revenue Report, Matlack reported gross revenues of $186.9 million in 2000, with a loss of around $39.9 million for the year. The previous year, the company reportedly lost $16.9 million on $198.2 million in gross revenue. Losses began in 1998, when Matlack reportedly lost $2 million on gross revenues of $233.3 million.

Based on the letters of intent, Superior Bulk Logistics is buying most of the terminal network owned by Matlack. Facilities in the Superior deal are in Parker AZ; Savannah, Atlanta, and Brunswick GA; Chicago IL; Whiting IN; Louisville KY; Gonzales LA; St Louis MO; Elizabethport NJ; Norwood (Cincinnati) OH; Charleston and Spartanburg SC; Memphis TN; Channelview, Freeport, and Houston TX; Nitro WV; and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Superior also intends to work with Matlack regarding continuing relationships with Matlack fleet operator terminals in Chattanooga and Nashville TN and Westville IN.

Quality Distribution will acquire Matlack facilities in San Pablo CA, Pocatello ID, Lake Charles and Kenner LA, Portland OR, Pittsburgh PA, Salt Lake City UT, and Kent (Seattle) WA.

The future of Brite-Sol, Matlack's tank cleaning subsidiary, was not discussed in the announcement. However, wash racks in the Brite-Sol system are at terminal facilities being sold.

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