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Goldman and SK invest in cold chain infrastructure

Jan 14,2020
SK Holdings and Goldman Sachs are investing 50 billion won ($43 million) in Belstar Superfreeze, a U.S.-based developer of cold supply chain infrastructure.

While SK and the investment bank will commit 25 billion won each, they have an option to add 12.5 billion won each in year one, the companies said Monday.

Cold chain is a refrigerated end-to-end logistics network that keeps products, especially food, cold as they are transported.

Using the proceeds from the fundraising, Belstar will build a cold chain logistics center in Songdo, Incheon, while financing its existing cold chain supply center in the Oseong Industrial Complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi.

It was founded in 2014 by New York City’s EMP Belstar, an investment company.

The cold storage units use liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of electricity, which SK and Goldman say reduces costs and ensures better freezing.

“Cold chain logistics centers that use LNG cold energy enable up to 70 percent in power cost savings compared to ordinary electric-powered cold warehouses,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement.

“They also reach ultralow temperatures not offered at ordinary electric-powered cold warehouses, enabling the operation of chambers at minus 80 degrees Celsius [minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit] for the storage of bio and medical goods and minus 60 degrees Celsius for storage of high-end fishery product items, like tuna,” it said.

SK noted an unmet demand for the cold chain infrastructure as the reason for the decision.

“The provision of high-tech cold chain infrastructure is insufficient despite the rapidly growing demand for it across Asia,” SK said in the statement.

“The partnership with Goldman Sachs and SK will enable us to further upgrade Korea’s cold warehouse and cold chain infrastructure. Drawing on Goldman Sachs’ global network, experience in growing companies and cold chain logistics expertise, we endeavor to make real Korea’s ambitions to become the cold chain hub of Northeast Asia,” said Chairman Daniel Yun of EMP Belstar said.

Lee Jay-hyun, a managing director in the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs said that Goldman Sachs is looking forward to “leveraging our global network and experience for the growth of the company.”

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]


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