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Brisbane-based Lago Cold Stores bought by Americold for $106.4m

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Cold storage giant Americold has bought another Australian operation, Brisbane-based Lago Cold Stores, for $106.4 million.

The deal will see the New York-listed empire take over the family-run company and acquire its three temperature-controlled storage facilities within the Brisbane Port Precinct.

Combined they offer more than 25,000 pallet spaces for frozen, chilled and ambient temperature stored goods.

“We are pleased to announce our agreement to acquire Lago Cold Stores, which expands our presence in the Brisbane, Australia market,” said Fred Boehler, president and CEO of Americold.

“Once completed, this acquisition will add three strategically located assets to our portfolio, growing our footprint in Brisbane and increasing our presence in Australia to more than 56 million cubic feet (1.6 million cubic metres). “

Lago Cold Stores, led by its race car-driving chief executive, Roger Lago, is the latest local cold storage operator to be acquired by a major offshore corporate player.

The sector, which provides specialist temperature-controlled facilities for the storage and distribution of fresh and frozen food as well as medicines was until recently the domain of a number of family-owned businesses such as Lago, Swire, Oxford and Montague, reports the Australian Financial Review.

However, over the last five years, as scale and technology have become key factors alongside access to private equity capital, the sector has rapidly consolidated in Australia with Americold, and Lineage Logistics emerging as the country’s two biggest players alongside Dutch-based NewCold, which has built two huge warehouses in Melbourne for customers like McCain and Peters Ice Cream.

Americold will also acquire a road haulage component with Lago operating its own fleet of vehicles that include 10-22-pallet options servicing Queensland and northern NSW.

Lago notes it also offers container transport services to cater for import and export container movements.

The acquisition is subject to terms and regulatory approval, and is expected to close later this year.

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