Eyeing IPO, food dealer broadens its reach

PFG is headquartered in the West Creek office park in Goochland County. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

PFG is headquartered in the West Creek office park in Goochland County. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

As it weighs an IPO, one of Richmond’s biggest privately held companies has a deal in the works that could help it capitalize on the controversial combination of its two largest rivals.

Performance Food Group, a Goochland-based food distribution giant, plans to purchase 11 food distribution centers from Sysco Corp.

The acquisitions would give PFG an increased presence in the Western part of the country, including Colorado, California, Arizona and Nevada.

The companies did not say how much PFG will pay for the distribution centers, but the facilities generated a combined $4.6 billion in annual revenue last year.

Joe Vagi, a spokesperson at PFG’s Goochland headquarters, said the company would not comment on the deal beyond the prepared statement.

The divestiture by Sysco is aimed at appeasing federal regulators’ concerns over its pending merger with U.S. Foods. That deal would combine the country’s two largest food distributors, and the Federal Trade Commission has yet to sign off due to antitrust concerns.

Headquartered at 12500 West Creek Parkway, PFG generated $13.7 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year, according to its SEC filings. It follows Sysco and U.S. Foods with the third-largest share of the national food distribution market.

It is majority owned by investment firms The Blackstone Group and Wellspring Capital Management, which took PFG private in 2008. Prior to that, the company had been a publicly traded Fortune 500 firm with roots tracing back to late 19th-century Richmond.

But a preliminary IPO filing in September showed it may look to return to the stock market, and the deal for the Sysco properties would give PFG some extra ammunition as it potentially tries to raise hundreds of millions in capital.

Through its three main arms – Performance Foodservice, PFG-Customized and Vistar – PFG serves clients that include independent and chain restaurants, schools, businesses, hospitals, big-box retailers, theaters, airport gift shops and college book stores, it said in its filing.

It currently has 67 distribution centers and approximately 12,000 employees company-wide. That includes about 220 full-time workers at its West Creek headquarters and just shy of 300 at its 334,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center off Staples Mill Road.

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