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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2004

Midwest Terminals purchases competitor at port of Toledo

Midwest Terminals of Toledo, a general cargo company at the port of Toledo, said yesterday it has purchased stagnated competitor Toledo World Industries and promised to pump new energy into the stevedoring business at the port.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The port authority has expressed concern with the aggressiveness of TWI for several years, since it was sold as part of its then-parent-company, S.E. Johnson Cos., of Maumee, to Oldcastle Materials Group, a division of a building materials conglomerate based in Ireland.

Oldcastle put TWI up for sale. A deal last summer, based on a competitive bidding process, fell through, and for the past year TWI has been on the trading block, said Fred Deichert, chief financial officer for Midwest.

Last year, Midwest had a losing bid, but ultimately made a deal with Old Castle this year, he said.

Midwest will rename TWI and operate it as a second company called Midwest Terminals of Toledo International, Mr. Deichert said.

The current TWI lease at the port runs until 2013.

Midwest would like to negotiate with the port authority for a longer term, he said.

"It [the purchase] will more than double the size of our business at the Port of Toledo. We're excited to be there, and we are planning on significantly increasing the business. But it's going to be hard work, mostly because once S.E. Johnson was sold Oldcastle decided they didn't want to be in the [stevedoring] business," he said.

"We have to make shippers and businesses and industries in the United States and around the world aware of Toledo again."

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