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Cloverleaf Cold Storage

A worker transports products inside the $18 million addition at Cloverleaf Cold Storage's warehouse at 2900 Murray St. in a February file photo. Cloverleaf  has agreed to merge with Fort Smith, Arkansas-based Zero Mountain Inc., creating the fifth-largest cold storage warehouse platform in the United Stares.

SIOUX CITY -- Cloverleaf Cold Storage has agreed to merge with Fort Smith, Arkansas-based Zero Mountain Inc., creating the fifth-largest cold storage warehouse platform in the United Stares.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sioux City-based Cloverleaf operates 19 warehouses in nine Midwest and southeast locations. Zero Mountain is a cold storage warehousing and transportation company that serves customers across Arkansas.

The combined company will have about 140 million cubic feet of storage capacity and a presence in all three major protein production corridors. 

"I am pleased that these two great companies are joining forces," Cloverleaf CEO Bill Feiges said in a statement Tuesday. "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."

Mark Rumsey, chairman of Zero Mountain, said he was excited to "come together with Cloverleaf to create one of North America's largest players in the cold storage business."

"The Cloverleaf team is well respected in the industry, and I'm delighted that we have this opportunity to partner with them," Rumsey said in a statement. 

Cloverleaf, founded in 1952 in Sioux City by members of the Feiges and Kaplan families, last year sold a majority interest in the family-owned business to Blackstone, a New York-based global investment firm that manages $387 billion worth of assets. At the time, Cloverleaf officials said the recapitalization agreement would allow the company to grow its operations.

Mark Rumsey and his son, Joe Rumsey, will retain leadership roles in the newly combined business announced Tuesday. 

Under the deal, existing Cloverleaf investors, which include private equity funds affiliated with Blackstone, the Kaplan and Feiges families, and Medley Management, will invest "significant additional equity to facilitate the transaction," which is expected to close in the first quarter.

Cloverleaf manages more than 102 million cubic feet of storage and serves more than 800 customers, some for more than 30 years. The company ranked as the 11th largest cold-storage warehouse company in the world and eighth largest in North America, according to trade publications. 

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

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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