Blackstone’s APT claims discrimination over PE ownership


American Petroleum Tankers, a shipping business backed by global buyout giant Blackstone, has sued the US Department of Transportation alleging a $340m loan guarantee was improperly delayed due to the company’s private equity ownership.

The company filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asking a judge to order Maritime Administrator David Matsuda to grant or deny its loan application.

The Transportation Department’s credit council “has refused to act on APT’s application, based, not on the merits of the application, but primarily on the fact that APT is owned by investment funds managed by private equity firms,” according to the complaint.

In a meeting on 30 April with American Petroleum executives, Matsuda raised the issue of Solyndra defaulting on loan guarantees from the Energy Department,

Matsuda said that “applications for loan guarantees were being given more scrutiny,” specifically those sought by private equity portfolio companies, according to the complaint.

American Petroleum applied for a loan guarantee in August 2010, which will expire on 31 August 2012.

The case is American Petroleum Tankers Parent LLC v US, 12-cv-01165, US District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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