Vertical Cold Storage, a developer and operator of temperature controlled distribution centers sponsored by real estate asset manager Platform Ventures, is acquiring Liberty Cold Storage from West Liberty Foods. The terms of the transaction are not public.

“Liberty Cold is the perfect first acquisition for Vertical Cold because of its location near Chicago with intermodal access and the ability to distribute to 85% of the country's population within two days, the talented staff and the quality modern facility that was built to the latest standards. We are open for business and are looking forward to serving existing and new customers,” said Curt Mastbergen, president of Vertical Cold Storage.

On Vertical Cold’s expansion strategy, Mastbergen added, “We will grow by greenfield development and acquisition, drawing on our key competitive differentiators, including the highest standards of service, win-win collaboration with customers, a fully integrated technology stack that turns data into decision quality information and automation expertise.”

Liberty Cold Storage opened its nearly 300,000 square-foot. warehouse near Chicago in Bolingbrook, Illinois in 2016 to service both the nearby West Liberty Foods processing facility and other regional customers. The building features 36,000 pallet positions and 265 blast freezer positions, LED motion lighting, a 63-foot refrigerated dock and drop trailer flexibility. The operation houses a high-pressure pasteurization machine, with plans to double capacity, for food quality/safety and shelf life extension. There are also large rooms for USDA inspected market preparation, code dating and labeling, as well as other processing activities.

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West Liberty Foods, a meat processing company owned by the Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative, will remain a major customer of the distribution center. 

“This is an opportunity for us to focus on our core strengths of manufacturing, packaging and supporting our retail and foodservice clients, while working with a quality organization that has decades of experience and broad expertise in the cold supply chain. Vertical Cold’s focus on customer service is a key reason why we decided to partner with them,” said Brandon Achen, president of West Liberty Foods.

Vertical Cold Storage, which is establishing a network of cold storages around the United States, will bring in best practices from the collective experience of its leadership to make the Liberty Cold Storage operation even better by leveraging technology and automation for more consistent customer service.

“The goal for Vertical Cold is to build out a national footprint, and this acquisition bolsters that effort and creates a strong foundation for future growth. We are committed to sponsoring both transactions like this and new developments to reach that goal,” said Ryan Anderson, co-president & co-founder of Platform Ventures.