Meridian Development Buys Rilon Management
TAMPA, FL-The Clearwater-based Meridian Development Group acquired Rilon Management, a cold storage/transportation company on July 1st for an undisclosed sum. The new venture will operate under the name Meridian Cold Storage, LLC.
“Rilon, now Meridian Cold Storage, (which was based in Orlando) stored raw food ingredients at the Meridian warehouse,” in Sarasota, says Steve Kossoff, managing director of the Meridian Development Group. Now Meridian owns their operation which includes trucking, he says. The idea of the acquisition was to vertically integrate Meridian’s business. “There is no precedent for this kind of integration,” says Kossoff.
Meridian Cold Storage will remain in the former Rilon Management location, occupying 60,000 square feet at Meridian’s one-million-square-foot bulk distribution center in Sarasota, a former Winn-Dixie distribution center, about a mile from I-75.
Meridian’s newest strategic alliance with Averitt Express, a transportation company, will enable the company to service much larger regional and national clients, says Kossoff. “We don’t want to be in the trucking business, but we want to support what our customers want to do and we will arrange for them to ship their goods anywhere in the world,” he says. Meridian has brought in the former Rilon Management president Bill Long as general manager of the new venture.
“Meridian Cold Storage offers customers the unique combination of a state-of-the-art inventory tracking system, strict product integrity procedures, and logistical strength, in a facility with the type of security and real-time access to information essential to the success of our clients,” says Long.
“This is the first in a series of acquisitions (designed) to improve the services we provide our tenants,” says Kossoff. But he doesn’t expect there to be another acquisition in the near future. “We are trying to digest this one first before we look at others,” he says.
The Meridian Development Group owns and manages approximately two million square feet of bulk warehouse and flex space in the Tampa Bay area.
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