Shake-up for ULTR

South America’s Ultrapetrol  could sell off its ocean-going fleet after a shake-up of top management.

The Nasdaq-listed owner said SIPSA, a holding company controlled by the Menendez family, has agreed to sell 25.32m shares at $4 each to private equity fund Southern Cross, lifting the latter’s stake from 67% to 85%.

SIPSA has the option of buying the ocean business for a price yet to be determined as part of the deal.

The $101m transaction is expected to close in the next 60 days.

CEO Felipe Menendez and vice president Ricardo Menendez will remain as directors, but a new CEO is expected to be appointed when the sale closes.

The Ultrapetrol fleet consists of four products tankers, supply ships, two boxships and river barges and pushboats.