When it rains, it pours. Ports and ferries operator P&O, which itself is believed to be considering a buyout bid, has jettisoned its cold storage unit, P&O Cold Logistics. P&O sold the unit, which was the world's third-largest cold storage and distribution operator, to Canada's Versacold Holdings. The purchase price was U.S. $320 million.
Versacold will see a huge jump in its holdings as a result of the acquisition. P&O Cold Logistics has facilities in four countries and manages more than 55 warehouses and hundreds of vehicles. It also has more than 2,000 employees. Its global refrigerated storage capacity measures in excess of 198 million cubic feet.
"As P&O continues to focus on its fast-growing international ports business, it's time to look to another owner to take the cold logistics business to the next stage," says P&O CEO Robert Woods. "Versacold is a well respected operator in the industry and we have every confidence that the business, its employees and its customers will continue to thrive under its new ownership."
As for the other takeover proposal, published reports indicate that P&O may have received a buyout bid from Dubai's state-owned ports firm DPW. Others likely to get involved in the bidding are Denmark's AP Moeller-Maersk and Hong Kong's Hutchison conglomerate. P&O's stock soared 30 percent last month after the company confirmed receiving what it called a "very preliminary approach" from a third party.