Marine Finance

Brian's practice includes maritime equipment financing transactions (including charter/lease financing) and ship and fleet mortgage transactions. Brian regularly counsels clients on maritime regulatory matters including the Jones Act, citizenship qualification before the U.S. Coast Guard, the registration of ships in the United States, and similar matters. He regularly advises clients on charter transactions, maritime acquisitions, management agreements, and transportation agreements.

Recent Transactions

In just the past few years, Brian has represented marine equipment lenders and companies in the following transactions:

  • Represented equipment lender in the $99 million purchase/lease-back of 375 covered hopper barges to a food and agricultural customer.
  • Represented equipment lender in the $10 million construction financing of a new tractor tug, delivered in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Represented equipment lender in the construction lending for, and ultimately the $8 million purchase/lease-back of, two Z-Drive towboats.
  • Represented equipment lender in the interim construction financing and permanent finance of a deck barge with ramp deployed in Alaska in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Represented lender in permanent financing of eight 30,000 barrel inland tank barges, and five 10,000 barrel inland tank barges, totaling $22 million.
  • Represented lender in multiple 2016 loans to customer for various towboats and barges, totaling $20.5 million.
  • Represented equipment lender in 2016 transaction financing the purchase of 20 newly constructed covered hopper barges.
  • Represented equipment lender in financing the purchase of 25 newly constructed covered hopper barges, closing in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Represented equipment lender in the more than $35 million purchase/lease-back of 75 covered hopper barges to a food and agricultural customer.
  • Represented equipment lender in the purchase/lease-back of 13 hopper barges and two towboats to a barge operator.
  • Represented equipment lender in the financing of 25 inland hopper barges being delivered in three tranches over a period of months.
  • Represent client in the interim construction financing and permanent financing of an ocean-going ice resistant fuel and deck cargo barge.
  • Represented a client in purchasing Charter documents from an owner that had leased various barges under several transactions to a major barge operator.
  • Documented $100+ million in credit facilities to a Louisiana company to finance various motor vessels and barges.
  • Represented a lender in a $55 million loan facility to customer in Texas to refinance 10 towboats and 23 tank barges, followed by additional discrete loans to refinance other vessels.
  • Represented client in connection with a $26 million loan to Louisiana customer to finance a platform supply vessel.
  • Represented lender in numerous discrete loan transactions to a Louisiana customer aggregating approximately $50 million secured by towboats and tank barges, including the interim funding of vessels under construction at the shipyard.
  • Documented a $4.5 million loan to a New Orleans, LA company secured by a platform supply vessel.
  • Represented lender in a $10+ million sale/charter-back transaction.
  • Represented lender in a $10 million loan to co-borrowers for the construction and permanent financing of a new tractor tug vessel.
  • Represented client in its purchase of a new towboat and subsequent charter back of the vessel to its customer.
  • Documented a $3.7 million loan to a customer in Texas secured by a bunkering barge.
  • Documented client's $8 million loan to its customer in Kentucky secured by five 10,000 barrel tank barges chartered to another company.
  • Documented a $16 million loan to client's customer in Texas secured by three towboats and six barges.
  • Represented client in connection with $11.9 million loan to customer in Louisiana to finance a marine drydock facility.
  • Documented numerous discrete loans aggregating $38+ million to client's Louisiana customer secured by various marine vessels.
  • Represented client in connection with its purchase of two marine loan portfolios from another lender.
  • Represented client in the sale of two owned vessels to a Kentucky marine operator.
  • Documented charter transaction whereby the client purchased and then chartered to its customer 10 petroleum tank barges under construction at the shipyard. The barges were then subchartered to another company and placed under a contract of affreightment with a third party.
  • Represented client in connection with its purchase of a tax lease from another lender secured by 44 barges, which were then time chartered to the ultimate user.
  • Represented client in its purchase of a $20 million fixed rate lease transaction from another lender secured by 50 covered hopper barges.

Case Studies

Citizenship Issues

One of Brian's marine equipment lender clients was considering making a multimillion-dollar loan to a marine company that had recently been acquired by a private equity firm. After analyzing the foreign ownership of the private equity firm, Brian determined that the proposed borrower was not an eligible documentation citizen or a Jones Act qualified citizen. Assisting in negotiations between his lender client and the borrower, Brian was able to help structure a solution involving a new borrower as the qualified owner, combined with a time charter of the vessels in an economic arrangement that benefited all parties.

Offshore Supply Vessel

Brian D. Bouquet's lender client had committed to loan $33 million to one of its customers for an offshore towing supply vessel. In a complicated transaction involving an IRC §1031 exchange, charter assignment, and loan and ship mortgage challenges, Brian was able to assist his client throughout the loan process and successfully close the loan on favorable terms to the client.

Firm Highlights
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