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Vistar, Roma Food Announce Merger

DENVER - Vistar Corp., a locally-based broadline and specialty markets distributor, and Roma Food Enterprises, Inc., Piscataway, NJ, an Italian food specialist, are merging their operations in a deal that is expected to be consummated by the end of next month, according to both companies' executives.

The companies intend to continue developing their focus on becoming a leading distributor across the country to pizza, Italian and ethnic restaurants, said the executives in a news statement issued here. The companies will also continue to service their existing strategic national account restaurant chains.

The combined company, which will operate under Roma name, will service restaurants out of 25 foodservice distribution facilities across America. In the coming year, Vistar plans to re-brand and re-name its own food companies with the new name, while continuing to operate its 19 specialty vending distribution companies under the Vistar/VSA name.

Earlier this year, Tom McGonagle, Vistar's senior vice president and cfo, said in an interview with ID Access that the distributorship will enlarge its customer base and reassess its go-to-market strategy two years after being acquired by new management. McGonagle had indicated that the company redefined its focus because while it has national presence with more than two dozen distribution centers, Vistar hasn't until recently had specific targeted customer bases in each location. He said at the time that penetration, new accounts and acquisitions would form the basis of the company's growth plans in the future.

(See article on Vistar in the Nov. 5 edition of ID Report

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