CPX Deal Gears Up VersaCold’s Canada-US Road Transport

VersaCold Logistics Services, Canada's largest cold storage and refrigerated transport company, has entered into an agreement to acquire Coastal Pacific Xpress (CPX), British Columbia’s leading refrigerated carrier specializing in the shipping of perishable and ambient products. While terms of the transaction were not made public, the purchase is expected to boost VersaCold’s revenues by about $150 million to approximately $500 million per annum.

Established in 1986, CPX boasts the biggest fleet of multi-temperature trailers in Western Canada, in addition to 700 units of single-temperature trailers. Operating cold storage terminals and warehouse facilities in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, BC, as well as in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, it employs 150 administrative staff and has 400 independent contractors/owner operators.

CPX truck

The deal comes just one month after the announcement of VersaCold's acquisition of Gary Heer Transport and the launch of its newest subsidiary, VersaCold North America Transportation Solutions Limited (VNATS). CPX will continue to operate as its own entity while enhancing VersaCold's growth in the cross-border transportation market segment, including truckload and less-than-truckload capabilities.  The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, is anticipated to close in the first half of 2016.

"We have always held CPX in high regard for its reliable service and deep commitment to customers," said Douglas Harrison, president and chief executive officer of VersaCold. "This acquisition is a major step towards reaching our goal of being Canada's premiere, fully integrated, total supply chain solutions provider.”

"We are proud and excited to join VersaCold and to be a key part of the company's expansion into cross-border transportation services," said Scott McIntosh, president of CPX. "VersaCold and CPX serve many of Canada's leading companies and it was clear to us that, when partnered, we would only be stronger and more empowered to provide solutions and services that enable our clients to achieve great business results."

VersaCold logoVersaCold is jointly owned by Toronto-headquartered private equity firm KingSett Capital and Quebec-based investor Ivanhoé Cambridge. The company was previously a subsidiary of Icelandic shipping specialist Eimskip, which acquired it in 2007 and merged the operation with Atlas Cold Storage.