Cold storage acquisition saves 850 jobs; Lineage Logistics acquires Maines

Temperature-controlled logistics provider Lineage Logistics announced that it has acquired “substantially all of the operating assets” of food service distributor Maines Paper and Food Service.

Lineage’s acquisition of Maines’ last-mile distribution assets broadens its supply chain network in the quick serve restaurant (QSR) and casual dining markets. These warehouse and transportation assets primarily support brands like Burger King (Restaurant Brands International NYSE: QSR), Tim Hortons and Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) throughout seven states.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Maines, a dominant restaurant food supplier in the Northeast, fell victim to COVID-19-related shutdown mandates, which have brought a halt to a good portion of the restaurant and hospitality industries. Maines began permanently laying off employees earlier this month, after it was unsuccessful in attempts to sell its Broadline unit, which distributes food and supplies.

“We look forward to the opportunity to step up and help our customers stabilize their supply chain, preserve hundreds of jobs for hardworking Maines employees and ensure we continue to feed the world,” said Lineage President and CEO Greg Lehmkuhl.

The acquisition is expected to save 850 jobs.

“Maines has served as a key distributor of America’s food service community over the last century, and today’s news ensures our QSR and casual dining distribution business can continue to operate and service our customers for years to come as part of one of the best food supply chain networks in the world,” said Maines President and CEO Chris Mellon.

Maines celebrated its 100th year as an independent family-owned business in 2019.

Based in Novi, Michigan, Lineage Logistics is owned by San Francisco-based private equity firm Bay Grove Capital. The company was founded in 2012 through a consolidation of previous warehouse and logistics acquisitions made by Bay Grove.

Lineage has closed on several large deals recently. The company built out its physical presence in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific ports by acquiring Emergent Cold in late 2019 and expanded automated warehouse capabilities in the Preferred Freezer Services deal earlier the same year.

Lineage’s network includes more than 290 temperature-controlled facilities with more than 50 million square feet (1.8 billion cubic feet) of capacity throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. The company’s facilities provide cold storage, warehousing, transportation, less-than-truckload consolidation and food-processing services.

Ernst & Young Capital Advisors was the exclusive advisor to Maines on the transaction.