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Sysco to acquire SERCA, Canadian national broadliner, (USD$1.4-billion)

Sysco Corp., Houston, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase for CAD$440 million cash (USD$278 million) substantially all of the assets of Toronto, Ontario-based SERCA Foodservice operations of Sobeys Inc., and assume the liabilities associated with the purchased assets.

SERCA, one of the largest distributors in the North American foodservice industry, might be looked upon as the Canadian equivalent of Sysco. For its fiscal year 2001 that ended May 5, 2001, the Canadian national broadliner generated sales of CAD$2.21 billion (USD$1.44 billion). The company supplies about 100,000 food products, as well as foodservice supplies and equipment, to approximately 80,000 customers throughout Canada, including restaurants, hotels, fast food chains, educational facilities and health care locations It was acquired by Sobeys in December 1998 as part of Sobeys acquisition of The Oshawa Group Limited

The transaction, which is expected to be completed early in calendar year 2002, is subject to due diligence and is also conditioned upon the receipt of customary Canadian regulatory approvals, including consent from the Competition Bureau.

The companies also announced their agreement to form a strategic alliance to optimize the sourcing and procuring of produce and corporate brand products. The association between Sysco and Sobeys is intended to increase efficiency of their respective logistics and distribution systems, and the companies will develop new concepts together to satisfy the changing requirements of their respective customers.

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