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Investors Pony Up $700M To Get Piece Of Refrigerated Warehouse Action

Private equity investors Stonepeak Partners and D1 Capital Partners, along with other backers, have acquired a stake worth $700M in Lineage Logistics, a global refrigerated storage company.

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Existing cold storage facilities, the majority of which are used for refrigerating food, are not cold enough to store some vaccines in development.

As part of the deal, two Stonepeak executives will join the Lineage board of directors.

The deal highlights investor interest in refrigerated warehouses. Changing consumer tastes in favor of fresh food and e-commerce grocery delivery growth are driving demand for refrigerated warehouse space, an industrial property subsector previously considered high cost and low margin, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Michigan-based Lineage has grown aggressively in recent years through acquisitions and development. The company, which is controlled by San Francisco-based Bay Grove Capital, now operates about 800 million cubic feet of refrigerated storage space across more than 100 locations. Only Americold Realty Trust, which recently went public, is similar in scale. 

In June, Lineage acquired Wisconsin-based cold storage provider Service Cold Storage, as well as a portfolio of four leased cold storage warehouses in markets in the Southeast.

In April, the company broke ground on an expansion of its Sunnyvale, Texas, warehouse and distribution facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The development illustrates the growing efficiency of the cold warehouse subsector, since its use of robotics will nearly double the pallet capacity of the current facility, while occupying less than a third of its current footprint.

Lineage customers include Walmart, Tyson Foods, General Mills and Sysco Corp., and the company has real estate holdings of about $4B.

New York-based Stonepeak Partners focuses largely on infrastructure projects, but also has some real estate-oriented holdings. 

Some of its other current investments include Cologix, which operates 24 data centers, energy specialist MPLX and Orion Water Partners, which owns and operates the Carlsbad Desalination Plant in California, the largest such facility in the Western Hemisphere.