JP Foodservice in deal to buy Ohio firm Squeri Columbia distributor seeks 5th acquisition in 16 months

September 12, 1996|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

JP Foodservice Inc., the Columbia-based institutional food distributor that has been on an acquisition binge, said yesterday that it had signed an agreement to acquire Squeri Food Service Inc., a Cincinnati-based company in the same business.

PTC Lewis Hay III, chief financial officer for JP Foodservice, said the company would not comment further on the deal until it is closed. He declined to disclose the purchase price offered in the agreement.

Squeri is a family-owned and operated food distributor with estimated sales last year of $100 million.

The company serves Ohio markets in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. It also serves the Indianapolis and Louisville and Lexington, Ky., markets.

JP distributes food and related products to restaurants, hotels, health care facilities, cafeterias and schools in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast.

The product line includes meat, produce, dairy products, canned foods, paper products, cleaning supplies and light restaurant equipment.

JP said in a prepared statement that it would not expect to make any senior management changes at Squeri.

The deal

needs the approval of Squeri shareholders.

Once final, the acquisition would be JP Foodservice's fifth within the past 16 months. The company spent almost $70 million in two acquisitions in recent months.

In July, JP, which netted $14 million on $1.2 billion in sales in fiscal 1996, said it would pay $29.6 million for Arrow Paper Supply & Food Co., a Connecticut company in the same business.

And in May, the company signed an agreement to purchase Valley Food Distributors of Nevada for $42.2 million.

The acquisition strategy, industry observers said, is in step with a consolidation trend during the past two years. Companies are seeking to trim administrative and other operating costs by merging and streamlining.

JP Foodservice shares closed yesterday at $23.125, down 25 cents.

Pub Date: 9/12/96

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