Brakes’ parent snapped up by US rival

American foodservice distributor Sysco has acquired UK competitor, Brakes Group, including its catering equipment division, in a £2.2bn transaction.

Headquartered in London, the Brakes Group also has operations in Ireland, France, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg.

The organisation has been owned by Bain Capital Private Equity since 2007 and will now operate as a standalone company within Sysco.

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The business will continue to be led by CEO Ken McMeikan. His management team and the rest of the employee base will remain in place.

Unanimously approved by Sysco’s board of directors, the transaction expands Sysco’s footprint in the UK and Ireland and further into Europe, and positions the company for potential future expansion in these markets.

The deal is subject to customary regulatory review by European Union competition authorities. The companies expect to complete the transaction before the end of Sysco’s fiscal year in July 2016.

“Last year we said we would look for the best strategic option for Brakes Group’s next stage of development. We are delighted to have now concluded this process by joining Sysco,” said McMeikan.

“Our mission is simple: to help businesses who serve food to thrive, and becoming part of the Sysco family will help us get closer toward achieving that great outcome for our customers, colleagues and suppliers.

“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.”

Sysco CEO Bill DeLaney added: “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.

“This transaction will unite Sysco with a leading foodservice distributor in Europe with demonstrated capability to sustainably grow its business over time.”

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