Americold Pays $108M for Cold Storage Trio

The REIT expanded its portfolio by 17 million cubic feet with the purchase of three temperature-controlled warehouses in Florida and Texas.

6815 Maple Lane, Tampa, Fla. Image via Google Street View

Americold Realty Trust has reinforced its status as the largest publicly traded REIT focused on temperature-controlled warehouses with the acquisition of three cold storage facilities totaling 17 million cubic feet in Florida and Texas. The company purchased the assets in two separate transactions valued at an aggregate $107.5 million.

Pandemic-induced economic uncertainty has not hindered Americold’s efforts to enhance its holdings across the U.S. and around the world. “The scale and diversity of our portfolio, combined with our strong market share, provides stability in our business,” Marc Smernoff, CFO of Americold Realty Trust, said during the company’s second quarter 2020 earnings conference call on August 6.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Fuels Growth in Cold Storage

Americold bolstered its footprint in metropolitan Tampa, Fla., with the purchase of Caspers Cold Storage’s 3.2 million-cubic-foot property located at 6815 Maple Lane. The company paid $25 million for the asset, which opened in 2017 with 12,400 pallet positions and blast freezing capabilities, and it expects to invest an additional $500,000 in initial capital expenditures.

In Texas, Americold acquired AM-C Warehouses in an $82.5 million transaction that increased the REIT’s Dallas-Fort Worth major-market capacity by roughly 30 percent. The AM-C assets include an 8.6 million-cubic-foot facility built in 2018 in Mansfield. The property features 27,000 pallet positions and 18 acres of developable land for future expansion. The second AM-C asset, located in Grand Prairie, joins the Americold portfolio under the assumption of a lease with an expiration in 2023 and a single 4-year extension option. The facility offers 5.2 million cubic feet and 18,000 pallet positions. Americold will invest $2.5 million of initial capital expenditures in the AM-C properties.

Americold financed the acquisitions of the Tampa and Dallas-Fort Worth warehouses with cash on hand. The REIT is well-positioned to continue to invest globally, having recorded total liquidity of approximately $1.2 billion, including cash and borrowings available under its revolving credit facility, as of the close of the second quarter. During the first quarter, the company entered into a joint venture allowing for the purchase of 15 percent of Brazil-based SuperFrio Armazéns Gerais SA, which operates a 35.1-cubic-foot portfolio of 16 temperature-controlled storage facilities.

Hot Market for Cold Storage

According to a second quarter 2020 report by Elion Partners, the pandemic expedited trends that were already in motion in the U.S. industrial sector well before the appearance of COVID-19—and the rise in demand for cold storage accommodations is one of those trends. “With online grocery and delivery services becoming an integral part of how consumers shop, cold storage in and near large population centers is projected to generate the highest demand for logistics real estate space,” the report said.

For its part, however, Americold does not believe its business is contingent on any pandemic-related patterns. “Whether purchased just online or in person, groceries still move through the traditional supply chain infrastructure,” Fred Boehler, CEO of Americold Realty Trust, said during the conference call. “As food travels from food manufacturer all the way to the grocery store, Americold is a key player at each stage of the supply chain along the way,” he added.

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