The Yucaipa Companies LLC, Los Angeles, said it raised $375 million in new equity funding to complete its purchase ofVersacold International Corp., the world's second largest public refrigerated warehousing company. Yucaipa already owns the largest U.S. cold storage operator, Atlanta-basedAmericold Realty Trust, and officials said they now intend to combine the two operations.

"Americold welcomes the Versacold team and customers into the Americold family and looks forward to delivering the best of services seamlessly through the combined facilities and operations of both companies," said Ron Burkle, Yucaipa's managing partner and Americold chairman. "Versacold's warehouses and operations are a natural complement to Americold's industry leading portfolio. This caps two years of intensive work by The Yucaipa Companies to merge Versacold into Americold and create a global leader in the industry."

Americold's portfolio now includes 182 temperature-controlled warehouses in the United States (152), Australia (9), New Zealand (9), China (7), Argentina (2) and Canada (3) and represents more than 1 billion cubic feet of total storage space.

"We are committed to continually improving the quality of our service to our valued customers," said Jos Opdeweegh, Americold CEO. "The Versacold acquisition will allow us to better serve our customers who are looking for turn-key solutions domestically as well as internationally."

Yucaipa said it raised additional equity from two strategic investors: affiliates of GS Capital Partners and China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Ltd. Officials also issued $600 million in 10-year commercial mortgage pass-through certificates at an initial weighted average interest rate of 4.95 percent per annum.

Yucaipa first purchased 49 percent of the shares in Versacold back in June 2009 as part of a global restructuring deal with Iceland's global shipping company, Hf. Eimskipafelag Islands.