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Update on the Sysco-U.S. Foods deal

Restaurateurs who worry about the pending Sysco-U.S. Foods merger will likely have at least six months of status quo before the deal advance, Sysco executives indicated in a conference call yesterday with investors.

“We expect a thorough regulatory review to take place over the next six to nine months and we recently learned that the FTC will be the agency leading the regulatory review for the government,” said Sysco chief financial officer Chris Kreidler, referring to the Federal Trade Commission.

In the meantime, Sysco and U.S. Foods executives are proceeding with a plan of integration. Sysco CEO Bill DeLaney did not divulge any specifics of the plan, but noted, “We are moving forward quickly.”

DeLaney is chairing the Sysco-U.S. Foods executive steering committee, the body that will meld the giant distribution company into a behemoth projected to serve one of every three restaurants in the nation. But he noted that Kreidler is charged with plotting the nuts and bolts of the integration. The deal, if approved by federal regulators, would amount to an $8.2 billion-transaction when the assumption of U.S. Foods’ debt is included.

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