Cloverleaf Cold Storage, a leading cold storage warehousing company serving customers across its Midwest and Southeast locations, has entered into an agreement to merge with Zero Mountain Inc., a cold storage warehousing and transportation company serving customers across its Arkansas locations.
With approximately 140 million cubic feet of capacity in nine states, and a presence in all three major protein production corridors, the combined companies will become the fifth largest cold storage warehouse in the United States. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“I am pleased that these two great companies are joining forces,” said Bill Feiges, Co-CEO of Cloverleaf. “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.”
Zero Mountain was founded in 1955 by the Rumsey family. The business ships over 2.5 billion pounds of food annually and manages over 38 million cubic feet of total capacity in five cold storage warehouses, with expansions underway both in Arkansas and Texas.
Cloverleaf was founded in 1952 by the Kaplan and Feiges families, and currently operates 19 warehouses with over 102 million cubic feet of total capacity, across the Midwest and Southeast United States. Cloverleaf serves over 800 customers, many with whom the company has had a relationship for more than 30 years.
“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,” said Mark Rumsey, Chairman of Zero Mountain. “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.”
Mark Rumsey and Joe Rumsey will retain leadership roles in the newly combined business.
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.
Alford Law and Dykema served as legal advisors to Zero Mountain during the transaction. Wells Fargo Securities served as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisors to Cloverleaf.