JP Foodservice agrees to acquire Arrow $29.6 million deal lands Conn. supplier

Food industry

July 19, 1996|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

JP Foodservice Inc., the Columbia-based institutional food distributor that has been charting an aggressive growth strategy, has signed an agreement to acquire Arrow Paper Supply & Food Co., a Connecticut company in the same business.

The $29.6 million acquisition of Arrow would be JP's fourth acquisition move within the past 14 months.

It comes just two months after the company signed a $42.2 million agreement to purchase Valley Food Distributors of Nevada, and about two weeks after its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a follow-up stock offering of 3.45 million common shares.

The offering, which is expected to raise more than $75 million, is to be used for expansion and acquisitions.

JP distributes food and related products to restaurants, hotels, health care facilities, cafeterias and schools in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast. Its product line includes meat, produce, dairy products, canned foods, paper products, cleaning supplies and light restaurant equipment.

"We're a one-stop shop for anyone in the restaurant, hotel or hospital food service business," said Lewis Hay III, JP's chief financial officer.

Arrow does essentially the same thing in New England. The acquisition will increase JP's presence in New England, southern Connecticut and New York.

Arrow, a privately held company, has 200 employees and posted sales of $74.6 million last year. Hay said that Arrow was profitable, but he did not disclose the company's earnings.

Hay said that JP will offer employment to all Arrow workers. It's name may be changed to reflect JP's investment.

JP has about 2,500 workers, including about 300 at its headquarters and a distribution center in Severn.

The proposed acquisition will include cash, stock and the assumption of an undisclosed amount of Arrow debt.

The purchase is scheduled to close by the end of next month.

JP's stock closed at $22.75 yesterday, up $2.

Pub Date: 7/19/96


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