HIG-backed Ship Supply buys Universal Maritime

Ship Supply International, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, has acquired Universal Maritime Inc. Financial terms weren’t announced. Universal Maritime, of Harbor City, California, provides port logistics services and products including deck & engine supplies, provisions, cabin essentials and bonded goods.


MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with $25 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Ship Supply International (“Ship Supply”), has acquired Universal Maritime, Inc. (“Universal” or the “Company”).


Headquartered in Southern California and with convenient access to the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco, Universal is a full-service port logistics business, which supplies a diverse range of products, including deck & engine supplies, provisions, cabin essentials and bonded goods. The Company has built a tradition of exceptional customer service across U.S. West Coast ports, handling time-sensitive, last-mile delivery of critical merchandise from San Diego to San Francisco.

“We are excited about the Universal transaction,” commented Ares Michaelides, Chief Executive Officer of Ship Supply. “The launch of our U.S. West Coast operations is a significant milestone for Ship Supply. The strategic rationale for this acquisition is highly compelling, particularly for our clients. The transaction allows customers to receive unmatched service, high quality products and reliable delivery from a single-source supplier with coast-to-coast capabilities.”

Mike Tsalickis, Universal’s Founder, commented, “We are looking forward to starting a new chapter of growth with the Ship Supply team, as we continue to focus on providing customers with industry-leading service and solutions. Ship Supply’s international resources and capabilities will allow us to enhance our value-added solutions for existing customers and forge relationships with new customers in our core geographies.”

“This acquisition is the culmination of a focused initiative to pursue a strategic combination with the leading West Coast port logistics provider. After a two-year process examining our options, we are thrilled to be expanding the Ship Supply network to include a quality operator like Universal, an organization synonymous with best-in-class customer service. Universal is the fifth add-on we have completed since our original investment in Ship Supply, with more to follow. We have demonstrated great promise in our national roll-out strategy, and as a Board remain committed to continuing our steadfast support of Ship Supply’s robust acquisition program,” added Jeff Zanarini, a Managing Director at H.I.G.

About Universal Maritime

Headquartered in Harbor City, California, Universal is a full-service ship chandler that provides provisions, bonded goods and deck & engine supplies to clients across the West Coast. Universal combines its long-standing relationships with premier specialty suppliers & distributors with the logistical expertise to provide time-sensitive, customized port logistics solutions.

About Ship Supply

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ship Supply has provided high quality goods and services to the maritime industry for nearly fifty years. The Company offers reliable port logistics services 24 hours per day / 7 days per week with the expertise to cater to the specific needs of a diverse set of specialty vessels and end-markets. Ship Supply offers seamless service to customers at over 100 domestic and international ports. The Company’s technologically-advanced capabilities and multi-lingual staff serves as the critical line of communication with vessels and crew to provide its clients a comprehensive solution for in-port requirements.

About H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with $25 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.