Americold Realty Trust, the country’s largest publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on temperature controlled storage, is acquiring a Dutch firm with a metro Atlanta headquarters for about $1.74 billion in a deal with global implications.
Atlanta-based Americold was attracted to the deal with Agro Merchants Group, which runs North American operations out of Alpharetta, due to its global reach as the No. 4 cold-storage warehouse provider in the world with 2,900 customers. Agro is also the third largest in Europe, a market Americold had not yet entered.
“The acquisition of Agro represents a unique opportunity to acquire an institutional-quality global portfolio that facilitates our strategic entry into Europe and adds complementary locations in the U.S., South America and Australia, where Americold is already established,” Americold President and CEO Fred Boehler said in a news release.
AGRO Merchants is owned by investment group Oaktree Capital Management LP out fo Los Angeles. Americold will pay with $519 million in cash, $554.3 million in common shares and the repayment of $560 million in Agro debt, plus the assumption of $110 million in Agro’s capital leases and financing obligations.
Born in 2013 and growing aggressively and steadily via acquisition, Agro’s portfolio consisted of 46 facilities totaling 236 million refrigerated cubic feet across 10 countries. Twenty-six are spread across Europe in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, Spain and Poland.
Agro also had 17 facilities in the United States, two in Brisbane, Australia; a 65 percent interest in a facility operator in Chile, and a 22.1 percent interest in a Brazilian joint venture operating 13 facilities in that massive country.
Upon closing after meeting regulatory hurdles by the first quarter of next year, Americold would exercise AGRO’s existing call options in the Chile and Brazil joint ventures to acquire those outstanding interests.
Agro employs more than 5,000 people around the world.
Americold’s portfolio would include 229 facilities globally totaling 1.35 billion cubic feet after the deal closes.
Read more about the deal here.