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Sysco Buys Crossgar Foodservice, Pushing Irish Expansion

By Kristin Jones Sysco Corp. (SYY) has agreed to acquire Crossgar Foodservice as the food supplier seeks to expand its footprint on the Emerald Isle. The terms of the deal, which is subject to Irish regulatory approval, weren't disclosed. Privately-held Crossgar Foodservice supplies poultry, meat and other products throughout Ireland and the U.K. It operates four facilities in Northern Ireland, where it is based, and employs around 238 people. Sysco supplies food to restaurants and other institutions. The acquisition marks the company's second foray onto the island. Sysco acquired Irish company Pallas Foods, based in County Limerick, in 2009. Crossgar, like Pallas, will continue to retain its existing brand identity and management team. "Crossgar Foodservice is a strong company with excellent customer relationships," said Sysco's group president Mike Green. "This investment, along with the acquisition of Pallas Foods in 2009, represents our commitment to the Ireland market and provides us additional strategic opportunities." Sysco reported last month that its first-quarter earnings were roughly flat, as higher food costs ate up profits even as sales grew. Shares were up 5 cents to $28.69 in recent trading. The stock is down 2.2% so far this year. Write to Kristin Jones at kristin.jones@dowjones.com

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