AGRO Merchants Group, Alpharetta, Ga., acquired Cold Land SGPS SA from funds affiliated with Inter-Risco, a premier Portuguese private equity firm, and Portugal Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm. Cold Land is the Portugal-based parent company of Frissul and Frigomato, which together offer 303,200 cubic meters of storage capacity or the equivalent of 55,700 pallet positions. This latest acquisition expands AGRO’s footprint in a key strategic region and significantly broadens its capabilities and service offerings throughout the food supply chain. The current management team, led by CEO Afonso Almeida, will continue to lead the business in Portugal.
The company's largest cold store is located in Carregado Industrial Estate in the Lisbon district. Two additional facilities are based in Aveleda and Aguda, both in the Porto area. Product expertise includes frozen/deep-frozen such as ice cream, bread, pastries, produce and protein, as well as refrigerated products like dairy and cold meats. Customers include producers, retailers, distributors and traders. Group certifications include ISO 9001, SMETA and IFS Logistics.
"Frissul and Frigomato are valuable additions to our global cold storage network given the quality infrastructure, customer base and focus, management team and high standards of service," says Carlos Rodriguez, chief executive officer of AGRO Merchants Group. "The Iberian Peninsula is also one of several key clusters for our group, with current operations in Algeciras and the Barcelona area and plans to expand further in the region. The addition of Frissul and Frigomato extends our geographical coverage and enhances our capability to offer full transportation and distribution solutions to existing and new customers."
"Over the last few years, Frissul has become the market leader in temperature-controlled warehousing and transportation services in Portugal. We are proud to have been part of the company's development and contributing to build an exceptional team, including taking the company to a next level by acquiring Frigomato's cold storage infrastructure and expanding Carregado's facilities, which increased the overall storage capacity by more than 50%. Our goal was to create a market leader in Portugal by expanding their existing facilities,” adds Rui Branquinho, partner at Inter-Risco, SCR, SA and former chairman of Cold-Land. “On the way, Cold Land acquired Frigomato and integrated its services with Frissul's in a very lean process led by the Rui Costa (CFO). This was only possible with the exceptional team that was built, that benefited also from the long-standing experience of the former shareholder of Frissul (José Pais Lopes) that has served as a board member. AGRO Merchants Group is a unique strategic partner to take the company to the next level and expand Cold Land's geographical reach, services and capabilities."
"I was invited by Inter-Risco to join Cold Land's team just after they acquired Frissul. I found a fantastic company with amazing people, and I was always supported by our shareholders and their teams. We are extremely proud of the work that we jointly developed over the last years, and we believe that this work was recognized by the interest of AGRO Merchants Group in integrating Cold Land on its cold storage network. We believe that with this acquisition, Cold Land will continue to affirm its relevant role in the market and increase its capabilities in a more and more logistically integrated world," says Afonso Almeida, chief executive officer of Cold-Land.
"This exit reflects Portugal Ventures' commitment to finding the best business opportunities for its portfolio companies,” says Celso Guedes de Carvalho, chief executive officer of Portugal Ventures. “We are proud to have been a part of Cold Land's growth until its sale to one of the key international players in the sector."