Lurgan haulage firm bought over

Lurgan-based Agro Merchants is being bought over in a $1.7billion deal.

The firm, formerly known as Sawyers, is being bought by Americold - the world’s largest publicly traded real estate investment trust focused on temperature controlled warehousing.

Americold said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Agro Merchants Group from an investor group led by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, for a total of $1.740 billion.

The acquisition is subject to customary and regulatory closing conditions and closing is expected to occur late in the fourth quarter of 2020 or early in the first quarter of 2021.

Agro is the fourth largest temperature-controlled warehouse company globally, the third largest in Europe, and the fourth largest in the United States, and serves over 2,900 customers across a diverse spectrum of commodities.

Agro’s portfolio consists of 46 facilities, totalling 236 million refrigerated cubic feet, located in 10 countries and will be a strong complement to Americold’s existing global network.

“We are very excited to welcome the Agro team to the Americold family as we expand the scale and enhance the geographic reach of the Americold network. The acquisition of Agro represents a unique opportunity to acquire an institutional-quality global portfolio that facilitates our strategic entry into Europe and adds complementary locations in the US, South America and Australia, where Americold is already established.

“This strategic transaction provides exciting long-term growth opportunities through our ability to implement the Americold Operating System and commercial business rules across the Agro platform.

“In addition, we are excited about the external development and M&A opportunities that this acquisition provides,” stated Fred Boehler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Americold Realty Trust.

Carlos Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of Agro Merchants Group, said: “I am extremely proud of the work we have done to build Agro into a true industry leader in temperature-controlled logistics with a global portfolio.

“Americold has one of the strongest networks in the world with leading operational capabilities. We are confident that by joining Americold, we will accelerate our growth and by combining our complementary networks, we will be able to provide a more comprehensive range of solutions to customers around the world.”

The company employs 495 people in its Lurgan base, they said they “do not foresee any changes in UK & Ireland”.

Sawyers rebranded in 2017 - read here.

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