Lineage Logistics to Buy Millard Refrigerated Services

Lineage Logistics, a warehousing and logistics company operating 90 cold storage facilities in 21 states in the USA, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Millard Refrigerated Services, a third-party warehousing and logistics company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days.

Financial terms of were not disclosed by San Francisco, California-headquartered Bay Grove Capital LLC, owner of Lineage. However, a report published in the Omaha World-Herald quoted a person familiar with the sale as saying it was “a multi-million-dollar deal.” The newspaper went on to calculate that the Millard acquisition gives Lineage more than 9% of a market that accounted for $4.3 billion in revenues during 2013.

Millard LogoAfter bringing Millard into the fold, Lineage will expand its network by 30 strategic locations in the United States and increase its footprint to more than 21 million square feet and over 518 million cubic feet of cold storage capacity. The combination of the two companies will immediately double the size of Lineage’s business and create the world’s second largest refrigerated warehouse network, based on statistics compiled by the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses.

According to Lineage’s website, the network today operates over 90 facilities in 21 states and has over 5,000 dedicated employees. The company handles and stores an assortment of products from seafood and ice cream to meats to vegetables, and is also a distribution partner for some of the largest and fastest growing food retailers in North America.

“Bringing Millard into the Lineage family will give us additional scale to support our growth and increase our investment in innovative technology, logistics offerings and our facilities, while adding talented management to our team. As a result, our customers will have unparalleled geographic and service capabilities in major logistics centers throughout the country,” said Lineage CEO Bill Hendricksen. “Millard’s highly reputable operations and dedicated focus on service makes the company a great fit for us.”

“By acquiring Millard, we are executing on our long-term strategy to grow Lineage by adding a great family-owned company with deep entrepreneurial roots, values and culture,” said Kevin Marchetti, managing director of Bay Grove Capital. “The Lineage vision started with the acquisition of one warehouse in 2008 and has now resulted in the combination of two acknowledged leaders in the industry. We are proud of the fact that every former owner supports our vision and has chosen to remain an active investor in Lineage.”

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Millard Refrigerated Services was founded in 1963, when construction contractor Larry Larsen acquired a cold storage warehouse in Omaha as part of a tenant’s bankruptcy reorganization. He greatly expanded the company into a network of 30 facilities across the United States, offering 228 million cubic feet of capacity. In addition to cold storage distribution and warehousing, Millard provides customers with a wide variety of value-added food logistics services including transportation, processing and food manufacturing.

“Lineage’s leadership team is highly experienced and the ideal partner to continue growing Millard’s legacy. This is a terrific opportunity for all employees and customers to work with an exceptional company,” said Millard’s chief executive officer and owner, Lance Larsen, who succeeded his father in 2008. Following the sale, he will become a Lineage board member and investor.

Marchetti concluded, “With over four billion cubic feet of refrigerated warehousing in the United States, cold chain storage is the core of our domestic food distribution infrastructure. With the addition of Millard, Lineage will become a much larger operator in this growth industry, greatly expanding the number of markets we can serve.”