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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
David Laister

Huge coldstore logistics deal completes

A £16.5 million deal to unite two Grimsby cold storage giants has completed.

HSH Coldstores has bought ACS&T, bringing together significant capacity focused on supporting the town’s seafood sector. The deal was agreed in December, weeks after HSH had received government backing for a new build facility on the town’s Europarc estate.

Part of the European Constellation Cold Logistics organisation following a majority stake acquisition in it early in 2021, HSH can be traced back to 1970. The £15.5 million turnover operation was founded by the Howard family, led by the late entrepreneurial lorry driver John Howard. It is now led by the second generation, with Anthony Howard managing director.

Read more: Covid rebound brings cheer for Grimsby seafood firm

He said: “We are enormously proud and excited to welcome ACS&T to the HSH family, the acquisition provides a unique opportunity for HSH to expand its storage and distribution services for our new and existing customers.

“Having co-founded HSH nearly 20 years ago, I am extremely proud to see how our company has grown over the years and would like to extend my gratitude to our team on reaching this milestone. I look forward to collaborating with the team at ACS&T to accelerate our growth and develop new high quality cold chain solutions.”

It has not yet been decided whether the ACS&T brand will be retained, with staff from both businesses part of a special meet and greet reception held at the Humber Royal Hotel this week.

ACS&T, part of UK-listed fruit and tea trader Camellia Plc since 1993, has been in Grimsby for almost 90 years, having made it the headquarters after initially launching as London Ice and Cold Storage Company. First operations were below Billingsgate Fish Market. It went on to open the first low-temperature cold store in Grimsby in 1934, with a base later established on the town’s South Humberside Industrial Estate. It also has operations in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

Camellia has confirmed completion to the London Stock Exchange.

The deal creates a £35 million turnover business with a 140,000 pallet position capacity and 75-strong temperature controlled fleet.

Read next:
Hilton Food Group's full year trading in line with revised expectations after seafood costs soared
Rapid revenue rise for seafood giant Marr as pre-pandemic turnover eclipsed
Young's Seafood's resilience underlined as it gears up for significant growth
The Humber's headline-making deals that made 2022
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