TA ices return on refrigeration company

TA Associates recently exited its third investment of the year, selling Preferred Freezer Services to Fenway Partners for around $200 million.

The deal netted TA Associates about 3x the $35 million of equity and $30 million of subordinated debt it invested in the Newark, N.J.-based refrigerated warehouse company in 2005.

The deal also marked another in a string of exits for the Boston-based firm in 2008. In April, TA Associates agreed to sell Clayton Holdings Inc., a Shelton, Conn.-based company that provides analysis and consulting services for investors in mortgage-related loans and securities and other debt instruments, to Greenfield Partners, a real estate investment firm, for $133 million.

In June, TA Associates and Internet Capital Group Inc. agreed to sell Creditex Group Inc., a New York-based electronic derivatives broker, for $625 million in cash and stock. TA Associates also landed 5x its investment in June when it sold 4.2 million shares of common stock in typeface producer Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc., netting $56.7 million.

Roger Kafker, managing director of TA Associates, declined to say how much the deals allowed TA to return to its investors.

TA Associates reportedly wasn’t planning on selling Preferred Freezer Services, but that changed after CEO John Galiher told the firm he’d been approached by a number of potential buyers interested in expanding the company internationally. Galiher ultimately warmed to Fenway Partners because of its experience in the transportation and logistics industry, expertise that should prove beneficial as Preferred Freezer expands its distribution network, said Marc Kramer, managing director at Fenway Partners. Kramer said he courted Galiher for more than two years.

For Fenway Partners, Preferred Freezer represents its first acquisition in 2008. —Bernard Vaughan