Foodservice Equipment Reports

Sysco Grows With UK Acquisition

Sysco Corp. is acquiring U.K.-based foodservice distributor Brakes Group for $800 million, a move that sharply expands the Houston company’s overseas presence after regulators last year blocked its effort to buy US Foods, its chief domestic rival. Sysco CEO Bill DeLaney calls the transaction a means to further international deals; the broadliner currently earns 90% of its $48.7 billion in annual sales from the US market.

Brakes is one of the biggest broadliners in the UK and has operations across much of Europe. Bain Capital bought Brakes in 2007 and invested in improving its e-commerce capabilities, distribution infrastructure and purchasing power through alliances with other distributors. In 2015, Brakes’ revenue rose 6.5% to nearly $5 billion.

The deal is among the largest yet this year involving an overseas buyer acquiring a British company, and comes as business leaders are bracing themselves for the U.K.’s June referendum on whether to leave the EU.

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