Cold storage gets $1.6 billion richer

Lineage's Sunnyvale facility in Dallas, Texas

The world’s largest temperature-controlled logistics provider, Lineage Logistics, announced it has raised $1.6 billion in fresh equity from several different investors. The Wednesday press release said the company plans to use the funds for further acquisitions as well as investments in tech and automation.

“This significant investment — from both new and existing investors — is validation of our business model, our innovative strategy and our plans to continue expanding our footprint as the world’s largest temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics company,” said Lineage President and CEO Greg Lehmkuhl.

The Novi, Michigan-based real estate investment trust (REIT) has announced 16 acquisitions and 15 new expansions and greenfield facilities during 2020 alone, capping off an aggressive acquisition campaign in the U.S. over the last year and a half.

In July, Lineage expanded into Canada, acquiring four facilities and 16 million cubic feet with the Ontario Refrigerated Services deal. The company closed on a reported $900 million deal for Emergent Cold in June, which added 46 facilities and more than 75 million cubic feet. In May, Lineage acquired 14 facilities in its bid for Henningsen Cold Storage. That month also saw the REIT step in and acquire significant assets from failing Maines Paper and Food Service.

“Since the company’s founding in 2008, we have been on a mission to transform the food chain by building a global platform, fueling it with advanced technologies and putting in place a world-class leadership team to lead this industry,” said Adam Forste, co-executive chairman of Lineage and co-founder and managing partner at Bay Grove.

Private equity firm Bay Grove founded and manages Lineage.

“From the acquisition of our first warehouse, we have been able to build Lineage by having great investors — this capital raise adds an incredible group of new strategic partners and board participants that will further accelerate our ability to grow and innovate,” continued Forste.

This equity raise includes investors Oxford Properties, BentallGreenOak, D1 Capital Partners, Cohen & Steers, OPTrust, CenterSquare Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, as well as others.

Oxford Properties President Michael Turner will join the Lineage board. Two new board observers will be added from BentallGreenOak and Chinese commercial property developer SOHO China.

Lineage’s network includes more than 300 facilities and nearly 2 billion cubic feet of cold storage in countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

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