Americold Realty Trust keeps temperatures low to make revenues grow. The company, which is controlled by The Yucaipa Companies, owns more than 180 temperature-controlled warehouses that are part of the supply chain serving food producers, distributors, and retailers who rent space to store frozen and perishable food. Distribution services are handled by subsidiary AmeriCold Logistics. A majority of Americold's warehouse facilities are located in the US, with other properties in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, and New Zealand. Its portfolio represents more than 1 billion cu. ft. of cold storage. Americold operates in three main segments: warehousing; transportation; and web-based inventory tracking services.
Americold significantly increased its warehouse network in 2010 when it acquired more than 60 facilities in the US and three other countries from VersaCold. The company planned to use money from an IPO to pay for the VersaCold assets, but Americold but put those plans on ice due to market conditions. Instead, the company funded the transaction by raising $375 million of new equity by offering convertible preferred stock, which was bought by affiliates of GS Capital Partners and China Merchants Holdings.
With an expanded property portfolio, Americold expects to continue growing in a US food distribution industry that has shown relatively low volatility through various economic cycles. Beyond North America, the company believes there is additional growth opportunity for temperature-controlled warehouses and warehouse services in such international markets as Brazil, China, and Eastern Europe, where populations are growing, food safety standards are evolving, and the number of refrigerated warehouses for the food industry is relatively limited In China Americold has a joint venture with China Merchants. The joint venture offers temperature-controlled warehousing and transportation services across China.
Americold's acquisition strategy includes buying and developing warehouses located near its tenants' operations and in the vicinity of major distribution and transportation hubs such as ports. The company also seeks to keep its revenues diverse by tenant type, food distribution channel, and food commodity (including dairy, poultry, seafood, and fruits and vegetables).
Americold also is focused on improving its existing facilities in order to attract and retain tenants. The company is investing in new automation and safety features to improve efficiency and protect against product damage. Facility power management and sustainability initiatives also are being put in place at Americold's facilities. – less