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Supply Briefs: Metro East Industries, Petroleum Service Corp., Remprex

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Metro East Industries provides railcar and locomotive repair and maintenance, both in the shop (East St. Louis/Alorton, Ill., pictured) and on the rail.

Metro East Industries provides railcar and locomotive repair and maintenance, both in the shop (East St. Louis/Alorton, Ill., pictured) and on the rail.

RR Mergers & Acquisitions reported the sale of Midwest Maintenance Service to Metro East Industries, a railcar and locomotive repair and maintenance company; Petroleum Service Corp. (PSC) has acquired Prokar, Inc., an on-site railcar repair, maintenance and inspection services provider for petrochemical and refining companies in Texas and Louisiana; and Remprex, an intermodal logistics and transportation services provider, acquired the Technical Services International, Hubert Line and Hubert Rail subsidiaries of Lanco International, Inc.

Pictured: Rick Ortyl, an owner of Metro East Industries, and Joe and Sally Nichols, owners of Midwest Maintenance Service (center back row), with their locomotive mobile repair team and management in Burlington, Iowa.

The acquisition of Midwest Maintenance Service “broadens Metro East Industries’ growing network of locomotive and railcar mobile maintenance providers,” the company said. It follows Metro East’s 2020 purchase of Rail Mechanical Services, a Pennsylvania-based locomotive field services firm.

Metro East’s 100-acre facilities in East St. Louis/Alorton, Ill., include blasting, painting and lining shops; locomotive shops; a locomotive paint shop and scrapping/reclamation area; and railcar and locomotive storage yards.

Burlington, Iowa-based Midwest Maintenance Service will operate as a division of Metro East. It will continue performing mobile running repairs and refurbishing and modernizing freight locomotives, primarily EMD units, in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Tennessee. Among its customers: ADM, Cargill, Genesee & Wyoming, Gavilon, Growmark and Watco.

RR Mergers & Acquisitions identified Metro East Industries as the buyer; coordinated ownership meetings and due diligence; and assisted Midwest Maintenance Service in negotiating the transaction.

Prokar was founded in 1982 as a single-site railcar repair operation in Beaumont, Tex. It now operates multiple repair sites across Texas and Louisiana.

With the acquisition of Beaumont, Tex.-based Prokar, PSC is expanding its railcar repair operations. Prokar Founder and President Lee Schreve is also joining PSC’s railcar repair leadership team. 

“The strong foundation and commitment to service that Lee has built with Prokar is one of the main reasons we began talking with him about joining PSC,” said Brian Camp, Vice President of Operations for PSC, a product handling, site logistics and sustainability services provider.

“We are pleased to welcome the Prokar team to the PSC family,” PSC CEO Joel Dickerson said. “The depth of experience and reputation for outstanding service that they bring to PSC will give us a big boost in our efforts to meet growing industry needs for safe and efficient railcar repair and maintenance services.”

“From the start of the discussions with PSC’s leadership, I liked the attitude and optimism they displayed for being able to grow together and create good opportunities for our employees,” Schreve said. “In my opinion, it’s a win-win-win for Prokar, for PSC, and for our customers.”

Remy Diebes, President and CEO of Remprex

Homewood, Ill.-based Lanco International reported that its sale of three subsidiaries to Lisle, Ill.-based Remprex was effective May 31. Terms were not disclosed.

Lanco is also the parent company of Mi-Jack Products, Inc., which manufactures the Travelift® and Translift Rubber Tired Gantry Cranes as well as special component machinery for the industrial and intermodal markets. Mi-Jack Products will “continue to concentrate on building its manufacturing portfolio with expanded product lines in rail, port and industrial markets,” according to the company.

“We recognized early on that Remprex would represent an optimal path forward from a perspective of increased growth and innovation as one of our existing trusted partners, and we are excited for both companies,” Lanco International Executive Vice President Frank Calomino said.

“We are looking forward to building on the foundation of this great business,” said Remy Diebes, President and CEO of Remprex, which provides lift operations, engineering, equipment management, IT services and remote operations. “We continue to expand our line of services in the rail and port facility space and see unlimited growth opportunities ahead of us.”

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