Cloverleaf Cold Storage and Zero Mountain Inc. reached an agreement to merge cold storage warehousing businesses. Cloverleaf operations serve customers across the Midwest and Southeast, while Zero Mountain is a major cold storage and transportation provider in Arkansas.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, however existing investors in Cloverleaf, which include private equity funds affiliated with Blackstone, the Kaplan and Feiges families and Medley Management, collectively will invest significant additional equity to facilitate the transaction, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.
The merger will create a combined 140 million cu. ft. of capacity across nine states giving the merged company a presence in major protein production corridors. The combined companies will become the fifth-largest cold storage warehouse provider in the United States.
Mark Rumsey, chairman of Zero Mountain, and Joe Rumsey, president and CEO, will retain leadership roles in the combined business. The Rumsey family founded Zero Mountain in 1955. The company ships more than 2.5 billion lbs. of food annually and manages more than 38 million cu. ft. of total cold storage capacity across five warehouses. Expansions are underway in Arkansas and Texas.
“I am excited that we are able to come together with Cloverleaf to create one of North America’s largest players in the cold storage business,” Mark Rumsey said. “The Cloverleaf team is very well respected in the cold storage industry, and I’m delighted that we have this opportunity to partner with and grow alongside them.”
Cloverleaf was founded by the Kaplan and Feiges families in 1952. The company currently operates 19 warehouses with more than 102 million cu. ft. of total capacity in the Midwest and Southeastern US. Cloverleaf is a cold storage provider to more than 800 customers.
“I am pleased that these two great companies are joining forces,” Bill Feiges, Cloverleaf co-CEO said. “The Cloverleaf team has long admired Zero Mountain, which has been built over generations by the Rumsey family upon business values similar to our own. Zero Mountain is highly respected in the cold storage industry, and the Rumsey family is known for its longstanding relationships and dedication to customer service. Its geographic footprint is a strong complement to that of Cloverleaf, and we believe that this combination will create significant value for our customers.”
Source: Meat + Poultry