Cloverleaf Cold Storage, Sioux City, Iowa, entered into an agreement to merge with Zero Mountain, Inc., a Fort Smith, Ark.-based cold storage warehousing and transportation company. With approximately 140 million cubic feet of capacity in nine states and a presence in all three major protein production corridors, the combined companies will become what is said to be the fifth largest cold storage warehouse in the United States.

“I am pleased that these two great companies are joining forces,” says Bill Feiges, co-CEO of Cloverleaf. “The Cloverleaf team has long admired Zero Mountain, which has been built over generations by the Rumsey family upon business values similar to our own. Zero Mountain is highly respected in the cold storage industry, and the Rumsey family is known for its longstanding relationships and dedication to customer service. Its geographic footprint is a strong complement to that of Cloverleaf, and we believe that this combination will create significant value for our customers.”

Zero Mountain ships over 2.5 billion pounds of food annually and manages over 38 million cubic feet of total capacity in five cold storage warehouses, with expansions underway in Arkansas and Texas.

Cloverleaf currently operates 19 warehouses with over 102 million cubic feet of total capacity across the Midwest and Southeast United States.

“I am excited that we are able to come together with Cloverleaf to create one of North America’s largest players in the cold storage business,” says Mark Rumsey, chairman of Zero Mountain. “The Cloverleaf team is very well respected in the cold storage industry, and I’m delighted that we have this opportunity to partner with and grow alongside them.”

Mark Rumsey and Joe Rumsey, president, will retain leadership roles in the newly combined business.

Cloverleaf’s existing investors, which include private equity funds affiliated with The Blackstone Group, New York; the Kaplan and Feiges families; and Medley Management, New York, will invest additional equity to facilitate the transaction, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.