The two companies are expected to make an offer for the second largest distributorship based the 2006 ID Top 50 report next month, the news services reported. Financial sources have estimated U.S. Foodservice's value at more than $6 billion.
Clayton Dubilier specializes in purchasing divisions from large companies and since it was founded in 1978 has invested more than $8 billion in 38 American and European businesses.
KKR's previous takeovers include supermarket chain Safeway, Inc., from which it earned more than 56 times its original investment. The firm was also part of a group that acquired Toys 'R Us, Inc., for $6.6 billion last year. The 30-year-old buyout firm was co-founded by billionaire investors Henry Kravis and George Roberts.
Dutch-based Royal Ahold purchased the Columbia, MD-based distributorship, with sales of $19.6 billion in 2005, for $3.6 billion in 2000. The company combined it with food distributor Alliant Exchange, Inc., which it bought from Clayton Dubilier for $2.2 billion in 2001.