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Investor eyes “multiple” commercial refrigeration acquisitions

USA: The private equity firm behind last week’s acquisition and merger of two Canadian commercial refrigeration equipment companies is eyeing “multiple acquisitions” in the US, Europe and Latin America.

According to new owner, New-York-based Ronin Equity Partners, the acquisition and merger of QBD and Minus Forty, both located in Canada’s Greater Toronto area, will create the no2 player in the North American refrigerated display market.

“The merged group will be a platform for consolidation in the fragmented refrigerated display case industry, where 60% of the market is divided between over 100 family-owned businesses,” Ronin Equity Partners said in a press statement. 

The brands will continue to be marketed under their own names and the merged group is now looking at further acquisitions in the US, Europe and Latin America. 

Established in 1981, QBD operates from a 300,000ft2 (28,000m2) manufacturing site in Brampton, Ontario. It designs and manufactures a wide range of refrigerated merchandising solutions for the food service and beverage industries. 

Minus Forty is based in Georgetown, just 20km distant from QBD. It manufactures freezer and refrigerator merchandisers. Both companies use “natural” refrigerants in their products.

“This deal expands our reach into new sectors, it widens the use of our green cooling deck design, and allows us to leverage Minus Forty’s internet of things technology to reinforce our position in the beverage sector,” said QBD president Safder Jaffer. “The expanded group will double manufacturing capacity, allow us to expand our unbeatable value proposition, and combines cutting-edge, complementary technologies to create a fantastic platform for buy-and-build acquisitions,” said Minus Forty co-founder Julian Attree. 

Both Attree and Jaffer will be actively involved in the combined business. One of Ronin’s managing partners, Jesse Yao, will become CFO, and two other Ronin executives will hold senior roles. The group’s chief executive will be Ronin operating advisor, Troy Shannan, who is joining from Nonni’s Foods, where he was executive vice president in charge of supply chain and manufacturing. Existing management and the acquired companies’ founders will retain a significant stake in the new group.

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