Sysco exec on US Foods deal: ‘We’re waiting, too’

A senior Sysco executive told the audience of FARE that the company has no insider’s read on whether or not a federal judge will green light the distribution giant’s merger with US Foodservice.

“We’re waiting like all of you to hear what the outcome is going to be,” Tom Bene, EVP and president of Sysco’s foodservice operations, said from the stage Monday.

He was quick to tell the audience of foodservice operations, “No big news to announce today.”

Bene lamented, “It’s been 26 days now since the closing arguments.  We’re certainly hopeful, we remain optimistic.”

Sysco’s pending merger with US Foods was disrupted by a legal challenge from the Federal Trade Commission, which voiced fears that a combination of the first and second-largest restaurant distributors would constrain competition in particular markets. 

Sysco, US Foods and the No. 3 distributor, Performance Food Group, have maintained that competition would be unrestrained, and possibly even enhanced because certain US Foods assets will be sold to PFG if the deal is okayed.

The decision on competition was put to a federal court in Washington, D.C. in May. Judge Amit Mehta has not yet indicated when he will rule on the matter.

FARE is a conference for all providers of grab-and-go food, from c-stores through fast casual, in both the restaurant field and so-called noncommercial markets, like college and university foodservice. It is presented by CSP Business Media, the parent company of and Restaurant Business Daily.

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