(Reuters) - Kirby Corp (KEX.N), the largest U.S. inland tank barge operator, will buy the assets of Allied Transportation Co for $116 million as it looks to grow the petrochemical segment of its offshore operations.
Allied's customers include petrochemical companies, most of which are current Kirby customers for inland tank barge services, Kirby said.
Allied's fleet of 10 coastwise tank barges, three offshore dry-bulk barges and seven tugboats also transports dry sugar products in the Northeast, Atlantic and Gulf coast regions of the United States.
Kirby said the deal's positive impact will be offset by related costs and backed its 2012 earnings forecast of between $3.50 and $3.70 per share.
The company expects the deal to add between 6 cents and 8 cents to its 2013 earnings.
Kirby, which owns about a fourth of the United States' inland water barges — flat-bottomed boats that carry petrochemicals, gasoline and fertilizers — said the purchase will be financed through its revolving credit facility.
Shares of Houston, Texas-based Kirby were down 1 percent at $53.36 in after-market trading. They closed at $53.88 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Reporting By Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das