The company also announced plans to invest up to $136 million in automated and semiautomated expansion projects and select redevelopment at its Atlanta campus.
Atlanta-based Americold Realty Trust announced Tuesday it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cloverleaf Cold Storage for $1.24 billion from its management and an investor group led by private equity funds managed by Blackstone.
Americold will acquire 22 facilities totaling 132 million refrigerated cubic feet. Cloverleaf, America’s fifth-largest cold storage provider by refrigerated cubic feet, serves more than 360 customers and has assets in nine states in the central and southeastern U.S., which Americold said expands its focus in the protein business segment.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
“We will accelerate and enhance Cloverleaf’s recently implemented initiatives by leveraging Americold’s commercial platform, institutional quality management and the Americold Operating System (AOS),” said Fred Boehler, president and CEO of Americold, which owns and operates more than 150 temperature-controlled warehouses with approximately 918.7 million refrigerated cubic feet of storage in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina.
Americold announced the same day it plans to invest approximately $126 million to $136 million in “new fully automated and semiautomated expansion projects and select redevelopment of its existing Atlanta major market infrastructure.”
The company plans to demolish part of an existing facility at its Gateway facility and build the first to market, fully automated facility with about 46,600 pallet positions. It also expects to add about 13,600 pallet positions in a semiautomated expansion at its Tradewater facility. Capital investments at its Westgate, Southgate and Skygate facilities also are intended.
The program is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with completion targeted for the second quarter of 2021, Americold said.
“Furthermore, the expansion of our Atlanta major market campus, and our previously announced development at the Port of Savannah, together will grow our total capacity in the state by over 50 percent by 2021,” Boehler said in a statement. We believe this targeted investment will enhance efficiencies for both Americold and its customers, and ultimately drive increased profitability and additional long-term shareholder value.”
Americold announced in January it purchased PortFresh Holdings for about $35 million, which included about 163 acres of contiguous land. A 15 million cubic foot storage facility is planned to be built on adjacent land owned by PortFresh, which is expected to cost between $55 million to $65 million and be opened by the first quarter of 2020.