By Joshua Burd
The world’s largest real estate investment trust focused on temperature-controlled warehouses has acquired a South Plainfield-based owner and operator for $480 million.
Americold Realty Trust, which is based in Atlanta, announced last week that it has closed on its purchase of Hall’s Warehouse Corp. as part of a broader portfolio expansion. The eight-building acquisition spans 58 million cubic feet and 200,000 pallet positions across northern New Jersey, all of which are within 30 miles of Port Newark-Elizabeth.
“We are excited to expand our operating footprint in the Northeastern United States and advance two development opportunities, which enhance our ability to serve current and new customers while strengthening our network in North America,” said Fred Boehler, CEO and president of Americold Realty Trust. “Through the Hall’s acquisition, we have acquired a fully integrated portfolio of high-quality facilities located near the Port of Newark. This portfolio complements our growing scale in a key market that is located within one day’s drive of approximately 30 percent of the population in the United States.”
In a news release, the REIT noted the Hall’s portfolio is 95 percent occupied and serves 220 customers. Five of the facilities are owned, with the remainder leased, complementing Americold’s current and growing footprint in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey markets.
Hall’s also provides transportation services that support its warehouse customers.
“The Jayne family founded Hall’s over 55 years ago with the core belief that an unwavering focus on customer service provides the foundation for long term growth and success,” said Bill Jayne III, owner and president of Hall’s. “We are pleased to entrust our legacy to Americold and are confident that this acquisition will provide enhanced opportunities for our customers and associates.”
Americold also announced two expansion projects, including a build-to-suit addition in Arkansas for a top-tier customer and an expansion of the company’s existing Calgary facility, which it added earlier this year with the acquisition of Nova Cold, for $84 million and $11 million, respectively. The acquisition of Hall’s and the expansion projects will be funded with a combination of proceeds from recent equity offerings and debt private placements.
“The Russellville, Arkansas highly automated expansion is an opportunity to provide mission critical, long-term infrastructure for Conagra Brands, a top-tier strategic customer and one of North America’s leading branded food companies,” Boehler added. “With the Calgary expansion project, we will add scale in an existing market that is currently at capacity, helping us realize the embedded growth opportunities that were underwritten at the time of the acquisition of Nova Cold.”