NORTH PRAIRIE, Wis. - Zero Zone has announced that an undisclosed Milwaukee investment group has acquired the company in a management-led buyout. The sale makes Zero Zone a privately held company with plants in North Prairie and Genesee, Wis., as well as Ramsey, Minn.

The company makes refrigerated display cases and equipment for supermarkets, convenience stores, and drug stores as well as refrigeration and electrical distributed systems used in supermarkets, ice arenas, and cold storage industrial applications.

According to published reports, the seller was SuperValu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn., which in February 2005 completed its $234 million acquisition of Zero Zone's former corporate parent, Milwaukee-based Total Logistics Inc.

The Zero Zone management team remains in place, according to an announcement from the company. The team consists of Jack Van Der Ploeg, chairman and chief executive officer; Dave Morrow, president; John Duimstra, chief financial officer; and Steve Esslinger, vice president of operations.

"We see the acquisition as a very positive development," said Van Der Ploeg. "We view this as a solid opportunity to further strengthen our market position and grow our business, both in refrigeration equipment and refrigeration systems."

Added Esslinger, "There are no changes anticipated in the distribution of Zero Zone products. Existing warranty won't be affected or be changed on future work."

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Publication date: 03/06/2006