Associated Cold Stores and Transport (ACS&T) is to be acquired by HSH Coldstores for £16.5m in cash. The deal, which is expected to close on 10 January 2023, will boost HSH Coldstores presence in the UK and see it add ACS&T’s sites in Grimsby, Tewkesbury, and Wolverhampton to its portfolio.
The company said the purchase will increase its offering of temperature-controlled distribution services – which will grow to 75 LGV lorries when including HSH and ACS&T’s existing fleets – and boost HSH’s UK storage capacity to around 140,000 pallet positions.
HSH Coldstores is a subsidiary of Constellation Cold Logistics, the third largest provider of cold storage in Europe, with 500,000 pallet spaces at 21 sites across Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK.
The company became part of Constellation after the cold storage giant bought a majority stake in the business early last year. “I’m really thrilled to welcome the ACS&T team to Constellation. Exciting times ahead for HSH and ACS&T as we grow together in the UK,” said Constellation chief operating officer, Henry Pingle.
ACS&T is a BRCGS accredited food temperature-controlled storage and logistics business and a subsidiary of agricultural group Camillia. The company, which was founded in 1921, has operating licences for 71 trucks and 159 trailers.
“The acquisition will provide a unique opportunity for HSH to expand its storage and distribution services for our new and existing customers. Having co-founded HSH nearly 20 years ago, I am extremely proud to see how our company has grown over the years and would like to extend my gratitude to our team on reaching this milestone. I look forward to collaborating with the team at ACS&T to accelerate our growth and develop new high quality cold chain solutions,” added Anthony Howard, HSH Coldstores managing director.
In its most recent annual results to 1 January 2022, ACS&T reported a slight revenue rise to £21.9m (2021: £21.08m) with pre-tax profit plunging to £30,647 (2021: £601,239m).
At the time it published its results the Grimsby-based business said conditions had been challenging during the year due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had been exacerbated by the driver shortage and the subsequent cost of using agency drivers.