Americold to acquire one of the largest cold storage companies in the US

Published on
April 19, 2019

Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.A.-based cold storage provider Cloverleaf Cold Storage is one step closer to being acquired by Americold Realty Trust, the world’s largest REIT specializing in the ownership, operation, and development of temperature-controlled warehouses.

Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.-based Americold owns and operates 155 temperature-controlled warehouses comprising approximately 918.7 million refrigerated cubic feet of storage in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Argentina.

Americold announced on 18 April that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the privately-held Chiller Holdco, doing business as Cloverleaf Cold Storage, from Cloverleaf management and an investor group led by private equity funds managed by Blackstone for USD 1.24 billion (EUR 1.1 billion). The closing of the acquisition is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, Americold said. 

Cloverleaf was founded in 1952 and has since grown to be the fifth-largest cold storage provider in the United States by refrigerated cubic feet, serving more than 360 customers. The portfolio Americold aims to acquire consists of 22 facilities – 21 of which are owned and one that is managed – totaling 132 million refrigerated cubic feet, the company confirmed in a press release. 

The acquisition would be complementary to Americold’s existing geographic reach, what with Cloverfield’s assets located in nine states in the Central and Southeastern United States – familiar territory to the REIT company. The merger would also expand Americold’s focus in the growing protein business segment, it said.    

“We welcome Cloverleaf to the Americold family,” Americold Realty Trust President and CEO Fred Boehler said. “We have long admired Cloverleaf, the families that founded them and the associates that helped earn them a great reputation in our industry. We have a similar degree of respect for Zero Mountain, which was recently acquired by Cloverleaf. We will accelerate and enhance Cloverleaf’s recently implemented initiatives by leveraging Americold’s commercial platform, institutional quality management and the Americold Operating System.”

Boehler and Americold said the acquisition would serve to enhance the company’s “position as the leading global owner and operator of temperature-controlled infrastructure while expanding relationships with existing high-quality customers.” Upon completion of the transaction, Americold’s portfolio will include more than one billion refrigerated cubic feet, providing the company with “greater density and diversification to better service its customers,” it said. 

Acting exclusive financial advisors for Americold include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, while King & Spalding LLP is acting as the legal advisor for the company. Wells Fargo Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are serving as exclusive financial advisors to Cloverleaf and Blackstone, with Kirkland & Ellis LLP acting as the legal advisor for the entities. 

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