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Sysco Announces Acquisitions in Canada, Ireland

24 October 2012

GLOBAL - Sysco Corporation of the US has announced that it has agreed to acquire the assets of Distagro, the food-service division for Montreal, Quebec-based grocery retailer Metro Richelieu Inc., marking the second international acquisition in the past several weeks for North America's leading food-service distributor.

Sysco also closed on the purchase of the food-service distribution arm of Ireland-based produce company Keelings Foods on 3 October. While the specific financial terms of the two acquisitions were not disclosed, the combined annual sales of the entities approach $400 million.

"These acquisitions demonstrate Sysco's commitment to pursue quality organizations that will help us better serve our customers, improve our service footprint, grow our business and achieve our goal of increasing sales by one-half percent to one per cent annually through acquisitions," said Chris Kreidler, Sysco's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "To date, in fiscal year 2013, Sysco has agreed to acquire businesses that, in the aggregate, exceed $500 million in annual sales."

Distagro to add to Sysco's growing Quebec presence

The acquisition of Distagro's food-service division, which is subject to the usual conditions including Canadian regulatory approval, is designed to complement Sysco's growing presence in the competitive Quebec market. Distagro supplies food products to customers with operations in Quebec and Eastern Canada. Additionally, within the past 13 months in Quebec, Sysco has acquired Frank and Dino, a Montreal broadline specializing in Italian imports; Viandes St. Laurent, a Montreal meat processor and distributor; and En Gros Pierre, a Montreal seafood company.

"We are excited that Distagro's food-service team will be joining the Sysco Canada family," said Joel Grade, Sysco's senior vice president of Foodservice Operations (North). "The Distagro team has a great service reputation, and we believe we can leverage our companies' strengths to further serve our collective customers in the competitive Quebec market and to position our business for future growth."

In Canada, Sysco has broadline and specialty distribution facilities serving customers across Canada's 10 provinces and three territories.

Keelings is Sysco's third acquisition in Ireland

The acquisition of Keelings' food-service distribution business expands Sysco's presence and significantly strengthens its produce offering in Ireland. Having acquired Pallas Foods in 2009, Sysco acquired Crossgar Foodservice, a leading supplier in Northern Ireland, in August 2012.

The acquired Keelings business specializes in delivering fresh produce, employs 160 and has operations based in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Wexford. The business will retain its existing brand identity and management team, and all employees will remain with the business.

Tim Geary, Chairman of Pallas Foods, said: "Keelings' food-service business is a strong entity with excellent people, produce and customer relationships. This investment provides us additional strategic opportunities in Ireland and offers our existing customers, and those of Keelings, a wider and broader choice. We look forward to working with Keelings and positioning this investment for further growth in the years ahead."

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