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Sysco confirms €2.8 billion bid for Brakes

US foodservice distributor Sysco has announced reaching a definitive agreement to expand into Europe with the purchase of UK-headquartered catering supply company Brakes.

On 22 February, the buyer announced it had agreed a $3.1 billion (€2.8 billion) price with Brakes’s private equity owner Bain Capital. It will also take over $2.3 billion worth of financial debt held by Brakes.

Bill DeLaney is CEO of Houston-based Sysco. He says: ‘We look forward to welcoming Brakes Group and its 15,000 employees to the Sysco family of companies.

‘This transaction will unite Sysco with a leading foodservice distributor in Europe with demonstrated capability to sustainably grow its business over time. Beginning with a common customer-centric mindset, our companies are strategically aligned with compatible cultures and similar business models. We expect to retain key members of Brakes Group’s talented leadership team and to experience little distraction from integration given the minimal overlap of the businesses.’

Before the deal can be completed, however, it must pass scrutiny from EU anti-competition authorities.

For the fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015), Brakes’s revenues from its various constituent companies in UK, France, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg were close to a £3.3 billion (€4.2 billion). This represented a 6.5% increase compared to its FY 2014.

If the buy-out goes ahead Brakes will continue to operate as a discrete entity under Sysco ownership. Brakes CEO Ken McMeikan says: ‘Brakes Group serves thousands of customers across Europe every day – including pubs, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, contract caterers and more. We have continued to flourish in recent years, and the significant investment that has been made in Brakes Group provides us with a very solid platform for further growth as part of Sysco.

‘It is very exciting for Brakes Group to be joining the recognised worldwide leader in foodservice distribution.’

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.