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Eskimo Sells Distribution Business To P&O

Eskimo Sells Distribution Business To P&O Cold Logistics

Eskimo, New Zealand's largest cold service provider, is to sell its refrigerated distribution centre business to P&O Cold Logistics (NZ) Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

The refrigerated distribution business handles around $2 billion worth of food industry company’s products annually and consists of eight separate distribution centres around New Zealand including Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga and Bluff.

The sale becomes effective on the 28th of May 2001 and covers Eskimo’s total refrigerated distribution centre business throughout New Zealand. Eskimo will continue to operate and grow its international freight forwarding business Eskimo International Logistics Limited.

“We are delighted to have reached agreement with P&O Cold Logistics,” said Eskimo’s Managing Director, Jeremy Silva.

“ We had been approached by a number of interested parties over recent years, but P&O stood out in terms of its dedication to both customers and staff,” Mr Silva said.

The sale increases P&O’s current business by 250%, with its pallet capacity increasing four-fold to 128,000 pallets.

“Our objective in acquiring Eskimo’s distribution centre business is expansion. It’s a great business and a natural complement to our existing operation,” said Steve Running, General Manager of P&O Cold Logistics (NZ) Ltd.
“With the new resources and expertise we will now embark on a programme of developing and further growing the combined business, drawing on our international experience and knowledge.”

In 1994, Pencarrow Private Equity led the management buyout of Eskimo in association with the company's managing director, Jeremy Silva. At the time Eskimo only ran cold storage operations in Canterbury and Southland.

Since then Eskimo expanded its South Island operations and established a strong presence in Auckland and Tauranga. This has involved the acquisition of five different businesses as well as 'green fields' start-ups. During this period its staff have grown from 33 to 300 and its turnover has increased by over 1100%.

“The Eskimo management buyout has been one of the most professionally satisfying transactions that Pencarrow has been involved in,“ said Mark McGuinness, Eskimo and Pencarrow Chairman.

“It was a buyout where investor and management have worked side by side for seven years in pursuit of a common vision. The result is a real credit to the Eskimo management and staff who have succeeded in building a company of real substance.”

P&O Cold Logistics has operated in New Zealand since 1988 and has nationwide operations including Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. Since P&O entered the New Zealand market it has continued to grow the business through organic growth and expansions, this has all been made possible by the current client base and P&O management and staff
“We see the amalgamation of the two companies moving forward as an exciting challenge which we see as being beneficial to both client’s and all employee’s of the group,” said Steve Running.


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