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Reinhart Foodservice has been purchased by one of its rivals in a move that could affect scores of La Crosse area workers.

Performance Food Group announced Monday that it had acquired Reinhart, which was founded in La Crosse in 1972 and has a distribution center on St. James Street on the city’s north side.

The $2 billion deal will merge the country’s third- and fifth-largest foodservice distributors, Reinhart being the latter.

Between the plant on St. James Street and an office in downtown La Crosse, Reinhart employs more than 450 people locally, according to the company's corporate office. Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., Reinhart has roughly 5,600 employees across 26 distribution centers, including in Shawano and Milwaukee.

Reinhart regional president Mike Dvorak did not respond to an interview request Tuesday. It's unclear how the merger will affect the La Crosse operation.

George Holm

Holm

“We believe the addition of Reinhart and its complementary strengths will expand Performance Foodservice’s broadline presence, improve our network efficiency and help us achieve our long-term growth goals,” said George Holm, chairman, president and CEO of PFG, which is headquartered in Virginia. “This transaction provides us with greater overall scale, a diverse customer base, including a solid base of independent customers, and builds upon our strong distribution platform.

“We believe these attributes, along with attractive financial characteristics, will enhance our ability to continue to deliver the service our customers need to succeed and create shareholder value.”

Reinhart is the second-largest privately held foodservice distributor in the United States. Its chain customers include Burger King, Subway and Five Guys.

The company has been owned by Reyes Holdings, a foodservice wholesaler also headquartered in Illinois, since 2005.

D.B. Reinhart founded the company in 1972, with a roster of 22 employees and sales offices across west-central Wisconsin. It supplied food to restaurants, hotels, schools, nursing homes and businesses.

The transaction, which has been approved by PFG’s board of directors as well as the governing body of Reinhart, is subject to regulatory approvals.

Officials said it will likely be finalized by the end of the calendar year.

Kyle Farris can be reached at (608) 791-8234 or kfarris@lacrossetribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Kyle_A_Farris.

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Kyle Farris covers education for the La Crosse Tribune. Reach him at (608) 791-8234 or kfarris@lacrossetribune.com.

(11) comments

capedcrusader

"The future ain't what it used to be."- Yogi Berra

DMoney

Get your resumes ready. So some practice interviews. Start saving money. Don't make any big or unnecessary purchases. Cut out some unnecessary habits/expenditures. Work harder and better than you ever have. Go the extra mile. Do these things, and you'll be just fine and you have no reason to worry. Do them not, and you'll be in trouble if push comes to shove.

canman

The Reyes’s need the money for their latest venture, being the largest Coca-Cola bottler.

Frangel45

These monopolistic investor groups are solely for the benefit of the investors - a la ShopKo etc. They are not interested in the communities that they are established in - it is only about making huge profits and paying the top executives enough quickly enough so they can retire early with no concern for the upheavals they cause for the folks that actually make the profits for THEM. I have watched many conglomerates self destruct, file for bankruptcy and leave the communities in shambles. What ever happened to the anti-trust laws - seems they have been ignored since the lobbyists have taken over our legislatures - state and federal - across our country. These business takeover do great harm to the middle class at every turn.

Rick Czeczok

Agree, big getting bigger is not always best. Amazon is the best example of this. What happens when these mega companies get bought out by foreign buyer groups? The US better take a look at the anti trust laws and enforce them. Money will always talk unless the people say enough is enough, and stop buying from these gobble up companies. If you don't think that the market will be affected, go look at the mall that was once thriving, now it's an empty shell. How do you stop it as an individual? Buy local whenever possible. This is just an opinion, so if you want to attack me use your real name or you don't count....

Rick Czeczok

This type of acquisition usually doesn't play out well for the company being bought out. Update your resumes and start looking right away.

lacrosserunner

Great reporting. No mention of the over 100 employees that work at the corporate office 2 blocks away from the Tribune. Not sure why I pay 59.75 a month for this paper.

capedcrusader

Hopefully they follow up on this story...

lacrosseguy

Other than this paragraph... "Reinhart also has offices in Harborview Plaza in downtown La Crosse. According to a Tribune article from 2011, the year Reinhart moved its offices to Harborview, more than 200 company employees were expected to work there."

lacrosserunner

They added that paragraph after I made my comment.

capedcrusader

$59.75 a month?

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