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COMPETITION WATCH: Clarke sells off Versacold stake for $101.2 million windfall

HALIFAX, N.S. -- Clarke Inc. has announced it has received $101.2 million for its stake in Versacold Income Fund, f...

HALIFAX, N.S. — Clarke Inc. has announced it has received $101.2 million for its stake in Versacold Income Fund, for a gain of about $30.6 million.

The company said it will put those funds towards strategic investments. Eimskip Holdings purchased Clarkes stake in Versacold, a company offering refrigerated warehousing and distribution services.

“We are proud of the achievement that the Versacold transaction represents for Clarke,” said George Armoyan, president and CEO of Clarke. “We are focused on identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to increase returns to our shareholders; this transaction demonstrates the merits of our system for making strategic investments.”

Clarke acquired about a 20% interest in Versacold in July, 2006 and helped steer the company in a new direction. It was then that Eimskip showed an interest in taking over the company.

The $12.25 per unit offer by Eimskip represents excellent value for all Versacold unitholders. I commend the entire Clarke team for their efforts on the Versacold file,” said Armoyan.

“We have identified a number of possible uses for the more than $148.2 million in cash that we currently have on-hand, and are in the process of completing our financial analysis and planning strategic action,” added Rob Normandeau, chief operating officer for Clarke. “We have an enviable pipeline of potential investment opportunities, and a strong team of investment, financial and legal professionals to execute on them. We believe that current market conditions favour Clarke, and we will continue to identify and act on opportunities for accretive investment, for the benefit of our shareholders.”

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