The business of US domestic container shipping company Horizon Lines is being sold off to rivals Matson and The Pasha Group.

Matson is buying Horizon’s Alaska operations and the assumption of all non-Hawaii business liabilities for $69.2m plus the repayment of outstanding debt. The Pasha Group has bought Horizon’s Hawaii operations for $141.5m. Horizon intends to shut down its liner operations between the port of Jacksonville and Puerto Rico by the end of 2014. The prolonged economic downturn in Puerto Rico is thought to have been one of the reasons Horizon was unable to keep operating.

"The acquisition of Horizon's Alaska operations is a rare opportunity to substantially grow our Jones Act business," said Matt Cox, president and CEO of Matson. "Horizon's Alaska business represents a natural geographic extension of our platform as a leader serving our customers in the Pacific.”

Horizon deploys three containerships and operates port terminals in Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor.  Horizon's Alaska service consists of two weekly sailings from Tacoma to Anchorage and Kodiak, and a weekly sailing to Dutch Harbor.

Pasha is buying all of Horizon’s Hawaii trade-lane business, including four Jones Act container ships. It said the new business would provide customers with a wider offering of high-quality, scheduled shipping and logistics services for containers, refrigerated containers, and a variety of roll-on/roll-off cargoes.

"First and foremost, Pasha is a full-service transportation company and as such our primary goal is to enrich the transportation services available to our customers," said George Pasha, IV, president and CEO. "A decade ago, we introduced the first pure car/truck carrier for the Hawaii-Mainland trade lane, the Jean Anne, in response to customers’ needs. We now look forward to providing Pasha-quality service for even more of the people of Hawaii."