Sysco to create US food distribution giant by buying private equity-backed US Foods


food6Private equity-owned US Foods is reportedly to be bought by Sysco Corp in a $3.5bn deal which will combine the two largest food distribution businesses in the US.

KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice will own about 13 per cent of Sysco following the sale, which is expected in the third quarter of 2014 according to Reuters.

It quoted Morningstar analyst Erin Lash as saying, “The purchase price seems fairly reasonable.

“It is less than 10 times trailing 12-month EBITDA, and there are synergies that are expected to result from the deal.”

Sysco, which will assume US Foods’ debt of $4.7bn, said it expected to make about $600m in annual cost savings within three to four years.

KKR and CD&R bought US Foodservice together in a $2.25bn deal in 2007, before renaming it US Foods.

A research note by Oppenheimer analysts said KKR had the investment marked at 1.3 times its initial investment at the end of September, less than it will recoup from the sale.

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