Sysco Acquires Greco and Sons
Posted on May 25, 2021
Sysco concluded a busy week in foodservice distribution by announcing the acquisition of Greco and Sons (“Greco”), a leading distributor of Italian foods, on May 20, 2021. Greco, reporting an estimated $800 million of annual revenues, operates 10 distribution centers servicing 22 geographies nationwide. Bellissimo, an Italian food focused buying group, is also owned by Greco. The management team at Greco is expected to remain and continue to lead a standalone division within Sysco. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
The Greco acquisition is significant on a number of fronts and our takeaways are as follows:
- Greco and Ferraro Foods both transacted within the last quarter, signifying the resilience of the Italian cuisine sector during COVID and the anticipated growth in the sector.
- Sysco is executing on its cuisine centric strategy by acquiring one of the leading Italian food focused distributors in the U.S. Sysco will certainly be more competitive with leaders in the Italian space, such as PFG (Roma) and Ferraro (portfolio company of Kelso).
- Greco will operate as a standalone division of Sysco and existing management is expected to lead day-to-day operations. We believe this is a significant managerial mindshift from Sysco and is a bold statement by the new Sysco leadership team. Continued growth and a focus on accretive acquisitions in the Italian food space will likely continue.
- It is still unknown how Sysco and Greco will work with some of the key vendors of the Italian focused distributor. Access to specialty products is a hallmark of Italian food distributors and seeing how this unfolds will be a critical element to the success of the transaction.
- Little has been said about how Bellissimo will function under Sysco’s ownership. While we believe much will be done to preserve the existing mode of operation, it is still unclear how Bellissimo, Bellissimo’s members and Sysco will operate together.
- The acquisition was Sysco’s first since acquiring J. Kings Food Service in August 2019. With increasing activity elsewhere in foodservice distribution, this may signal the “re-opening” of the M&A markets, which have been relatively quiet during the pandemic.
Should you have any questions about this transaction and how it might impact your business, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.