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AGRO Merchants Group acquires UK cold storage company Grocontinental
AGRO Merchants Group, a global provider of cold storage and logistics solutions, announced today the acquisition of UK-based Grocontinental Limited. David Grocott and Linda Grocott, third generation owners of Grocontinental, will continue to lead the business as Joint Managing Directors.
Established in 1941, Grocontinental is today a major provider of cold storage and logistics services to the food industry with a particular expertise in the dairy and meat sectors. Based in Whitchurch, Shropshire, Grocontinental operates from a purpose-built 35-acre complex with a warehouse capacity of 197,000 pallets and owned transport solutions.
“This transaction is the culmination of a process that for me began more than three years ago,” said Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of AGRO Merchants Group. “When we founded AGRO in 2013, I quickly identified Grocontinental as the ideal potential partner in England to join our network. We could not be more pleased to welcome Linda, David and the entire Grocontinental team to AGRO Merchants Group.”
Grocontinental is the third significant investment by AGRO in the UK/Ireland, following the 2014 purchase of Castlecool and 2015 acquisition of the Sawyers Group.
Linda Grocott and David Grocott commented: “Joining AGRO Merchants Group is great news for Grocontinental. We are very proud of the progression and success we have achieved over the years and now we have an excellent opportunity to take the company into a new and exciting era.
“To move Grocontinental into a larger group is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have been very impressed with AGRO’s ambitions, the strength and depth of its structure and expertise; and its respect for our 76-year family-owned business heritage. We are looking forward to being part of the future success of the Group and continuing to grow our business at Grocontinental.”
Concurrent with this acquisition, AGRO successfully completed a global refinancing of its senior credit facilities that substantially reduces its cost of capital and provides for a new revolving line of credit. AGRO also received a substantial equity investment from funds affiliated with Oaktree Capital Management.
“The completion of this refinancing not only facilitates the acquisition for AGRO but also strengthens our investment capabilities going forward, and delivers longer term funding at improved rates,” said Arjan Kaaks, Chief Financial Officer. “We are now even better positioned to continue with the implementation of our ambitious strategic plan.”
AGRO Merchants Group operates 63 facilities in 11 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. With 264 million cubic feet and 975,000 pallets of capacity, AGRO has become the most international, and 5th largest player in the industry globally.
For additional information:
AGRO merchants Group
Publication date: 12/20/2017
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