Sysco to Buy London's Brakes Group for $3.1B

Sysco, the largest U.S. food distributor, said it will buy London-based food distributor Brakes Group from Bain Capital Private Equity in a transaction valued at about $3.1 billion to strengthen its presence in Europe.

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The deal, which is expected to immediately add to earnings, includes the repayment of about $2.3 billion of Brakes' debt, Sysco said in a statement..

Brakes Group, which has operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, will operate as a standalone company within Sysco.

Sysco dropped its 18-month long pursuit of smaller rival US Foods last year after the Federal Trade Commission won a lawsuit to block the $3.5 billion deal.

Bain Capital took Brakes private for about 1.3 billion pounds ($1.83 billion) in 2007.

The combined company is expected to generate annualized sales of about $55 billion.

Deutsche Bank Securities advised Sysco, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Ernst & Young LLP acted as legal and due diligence advisers.

Goldman Sachs International and Baker & McKenzie LLP acted as financial and legal advisers to Bain Capital Private Equity and Brakes Group. ($1 = 0.7104 pounds)

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)