TA sells freezer company to Fenway

Less than three years after taking control of Preferred Freezer Services, TA Associates has exited the deal via a sale to middle-market investor Fenway Partners and management.

TA Associates has exited its 2005 control investment in Preferred Freezer Services after selling the company to middle-market private equity firm Fenway Partners in partnership with the management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The company's chief executive John Galiher and members of the senior management team will retain an ownership stake of approximately 25 percent.

Preferred Freezer Services, based in Newark, New Jersey, is the fifth-largest public refrigerated warehousing company in the United States. The company plans to expand internationally in China and Vietnam, where port locations have been obtained.

Refrigerated Holdings is Fenway's platform company in the temperature controlled logistics sector. Through Refrigerated, Fenway has invested in companies such as East Coast Warehouse and Distribution and Gemini Traffic Sales.

Fenway will operate Preferred Freezer Services as a standalone company which will not be integrated into Refrigerated Holdings, according to a Fenway spokesperson. However, Fenway managing director Marc Kramer said in a statement the deal was “an excellent addition to Fenway's collection of transportation and logistics business and growing portfolio of investments in the temperature-controlled niche.”

Boston-based TA Associates closed its sixth Atlantic and Pacific Fund, geared towards non-US investors, on $1.75 billion in November 2007. The firm closed TA X on $3.5 billion and its second mezzanine fund on $777.5 million in March 2006. TA Associates has $12 billion(€7.8 billion) in total capital under management.

Fenway, based in New York, has $2.1 billion under management and invests in branded consumer products and logistics companies with $100 million to $600 million in enterprise value.

Goodwin Procter acted as legal advisor and Lazard acted as financial advisor to TA Associates. Ropes & Gray acted as legal advisor to Fenway and UBS acted as financial advisor.