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Billionaire raises stake in barge builder

November 28, 2007

Sam Zell, the Chicago billionaire who in April paid $8.2 billion to win a bidding war for Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co., has accumulated more stock in Jefferson barge builder American Commercial Lines Inc.

Nine of Zell's affiliates, including Chai Trust Co., increased their position to 25.5 percent of American Commercial Lines, from 24.5 percent on Nov. 21, according to Bloomberg, which cited securities records.

The company's shares shot up11.5 percent yesterday, to $17.16.

Earlier this month, The Motley Fool included American Commercial Lines on a list of stocks investors were abandoning, suggesting the shares might be undervalued.

The stock had slid to nearly $13 on Nov. 12 after having traded near $39 in March.

American Commercial Lines has struggled as the volume of commodities shipped on its barges has fallen.
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