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March 3, 2020 11:15 AM, EST

VersaCold Weighs $500 Million Sale Amid Storage Buzz

VersaColdA forklift driver moves pallets at cold storage warehouse. (Darren Staples/Bloomberg News)

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VersaCold, one of Canada’s largest providers of cold storage, is exploring a potential sale that could fetch $500 million or more, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Vaughan, Ontario-based company, owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge and KingSett Capital, is working with advisers to explore its strategic options and is expected to draw interest from rivals as well as infrastructure and real estate-focused investment firms, according to the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

Host Seth Clevenger went to CES 2020 in Las Vegas and met with Rich Mohr of Ryder Fleet Management Solutions and Stephan Olsen of the Paccar Innovation Center to discuss how high-tech the industry has become. Listen to a snippet above, and to hear the full episode, go to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.

Representatives for VersaCold and KingSett Capital didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, declined to comment.

VersaCold operates a fleet of trucks and more than 30 temperature-controlled warehouses, according to its website.

The cold-storage sector, which is growing as consumers increasingly demand fresh meat and vegetables at a faster clip, has been abuzz with activity. Americold Realty Trust has seen its shares nearly double since its $16 public debut in 2018, giving the Atlanta-based company a market value of about $6 billion.

Last year, Americold acquired Cloverleaf Cold Storage, a U.S. rival with a portfolio of 132 million cubic feet, for $1.24 billion from Blackstone. In January, it closed on its purchase of Nova Cold, a Canadian company with 23.5 million cubic feet.

Lineage Logistics, the industry’s largest player, has also been gobbling up rivals. The company, backed by Daniel Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, agreed to buy Emergent Cold for more than $900 million in November. It also acquired Preferred Freezer Services earlier in the year for more than $1 billion.

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