Private equity dives into the pharma cold chain


Cold Chain Technologies and AeroSafe Global are the beneficiaries of multi-million-dollar investments

Although pharma logistics remains a minuscule part of the global logistics industry (by volume), its ability to command premium services has continually made it a go-to opportunity for warehousing, trucking, air cargo and ocean freight businesses around the world. That, in combination with the seemingly never-ending stream of startups offering new packaging methods, monitoring gizmos and cloud-based data-collection services, makes for a lively arena for M&A and private-equity investment.

The two most recent are Cold Chain Technologies (CCT), acquired outright by Aurora Capital Partners, a mid-market private-equity firm in Los Angeles; and AeroSafe Global, which received an injection of $31.5 million from Peloton Equity, Inc., accounts managed by Hamilton Lane and some existing investors. In both cases, the existing management will stay mostly in place, indicating that the investors not only like the companies’ business models, but also the people running them.

CCT has been a longtime provider of single-use insulated packaging; more recently it has branched out into reusable containers, a high-tech phase-change material, and thermal blanketing. AeroSafe started several years ago with a novel nanomaterial insulation, and more recently has promoted the concept of “cold chain as a service” whereby AeroSafe manages the operational aspects of sending out and retrieving its packages on behalf of life sciences clients.

"While our ongoing success has enabled us to self-fund our extensive growth over the past 21 years, it became clear that finding the right partner would allow us to accelerate our growth plans,” said Larry Gordon, CCT CEO, in a statement. “We couldn’t have found a better partner than Aurora to help us continue to exceed our customers’ expectations as we expand globally, develop exciting new products, and grow our reusable solutions offering.”

“Peloton’s expertise and network in the healthcare segment will bring additional resources, insights and business development opportunities to accelerate industry adoption of AeroSafe’s innovative products and technologies,” said Jay McHarg, CEO of AeroSafe. “This new financing round expands our team of blue-chip investors who enthusiastically support AeroSafe’s growth plans.”

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