After acquiring and merging two of North America's largest public refrigerated warehouse operators, Atlas Cold Storage and VersaCold, Iceland'sHf. Eimskipafelag Islands (Eimskip) Reykjavik, last month exited the cold storage business.

The move coincided with a $2 billion minority equity investment fromThe Yucaipa Companies LLC , a Los Angeles investment firm. Yucaipa is the parent toAmericCold Realty Trust(AmeriCold Logistics) Atlanta, the nation's largest public refrigerated warehousing company with 104 U.S. locations.

Yucaipa purchased a 49 percent interest in VersaCold International Corp., Vancouver, B.C., with an option to acquire the remaining 51 percent of the business at a later time.

"The acquisition of VersaCold fits well within Yucaipa's long-term strategy to build a worldwide network of temperature controlled transportation and warehousing services," officials said. "The VersaCold facilities are complimentary to AmeriCold's facilities, although VersaCold and AmeriCold will operate independently, each with separate and distinct boards."

VersaCold continues under the leadership of Brent Sugden, chief executive officer.