Sysco To Acquire Abbott Foods Inc.

HOUSTON - Sysco Corporation today announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Abbott Foods Inc., an independently owned broadline foodservice distributor located in Columbus, Ohio. The purchase is expected to close by early October, 2002.

Abbott Foods Inc. is Ohio's largest privately owned foodservice distributor, with sales of approximately $200 million in 2001. The company operates from a 287,000 square-foot warehouse, providing approximately 10,000 products to 7,800 customers throughout Ohio and surrounding states.

"The addition of Abbott Foods will complement our existing broadline companies in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Their focus on branded products, as well as specialty products such as custom-cut steaks, seafood and produce, is also in line with Sysco 's growth strategies," said Charles H. Cotros, Sysco's chairman and CEO.

Larry C. Abbott, president and CEO of Abbott Foods, said, "The opportunity to join forces with North America's leading foodservice distributor will enhance our procurement and growth opportunities, benefiting both our customers and employees."

The merged company will be known as Abbott Sysco Food Services and will operate as one of Sysco's autonomous operating companies from its current Columbus, Ohio, facility.

Sysco is the largest foodservice marketing and distribution organization in North America, providing food and related products and services to approximately 415,000 restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other foodservice customers.
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