Lineage Logistics LLC, one of the world's largest operators of refrigerated storage, is buying rival Preferred Freezer Services LLC, by far the biggest in a series of acquisitions the company has undertaken in recent years.

Lineage will pay more than $1 billion for Preferred, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The deal unites two of the industry's largest companies. After the deal closes, Lineage will boast more than 1.3 billion cubic feet of temperature-controlled capacity across more than 200 facilities, in North America, Europe and Asia.

"Lineage is now better positioned than ever to meet the needs – and exceed the expectations – of food customers on a truly global scale,” Lineage CEO Greg Lehmkuhl said in a statement.

Lineage is controlled by San Francisco-based investment group Bay Grove, which uses Lineage as its sole investment platform. This transaction will equip Lineage with the global reach and innovation capabilities that will fuel the next chapter of the company’s growth and we are excited to have them on board," Bay Grove Managing Partner Kevin Marchetti said in a statement.

Other deal highlights include:

  • Post acquisition, Lineage will have 17 automated facilities with over 800,000 automated pallet positions.
  • Significant new equity was committed as part of the transaction by existing investors, Stonepeak Partners and D1 Capital Partners.
  • The companies expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2019.