Eby-Brown Company, a family-owned distribution firm that has had a presence in the suburbs for 130 years, announced Tuesday it is being acquired by Richmond, Virginia-based Performance Food Group Company.
Terms of the acquisition were not announced.
Performance Food Group officials said in a statement the acquisition will help expand its Vistar segment into the convenience store distribution market and provide opportunities to use PFG brands in the prepared/made-to-order food service market. The combined company will serve more than 75,000 locations nationwide, and Vistar would be No. 1 in locations served and No. 2 in overall non-tobacco convenience volume, according to PFG officials.
"Their impressive levels of order fulfillment, on-time delivery and ability to adapt to customer needs have helped build their reputation as a premier provider of convenience industry solutions for independent operators and larger retail chains," said PFG Chairman President & CEO George Holm of the Naperville-based company.
Known for many years for its distinctive brown-and-yellow-colored trucks, Eby-Brown distributes prepackaged snacks, candy, beverages and tobacco products to convenience stores in Illinois and 19 other states. The company has 2,300 employees and operates eight distribution facilities in Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Eby-Brown had revenues of $5.3 billion in 2018 and is the largest privately held company of its type in the country, according to its website.
Eby-Brown will continue to operate under its brand and co-president Dick and Tom Wake will continue in their roles, said Christina Dokos, senior vice president for marketing.
"We have a lot of brand recognition and reputation with our customers and that will continue as Eby-Brown," she said.
Dokos noted PFG's Holm had been a member of Eby-Brown's customer advisory board for the past 10 years.
The company traces its roots to 1888, when Jacob Eby started a candy and tobacco manufacturing business in Aurora according to Wikipedia. The company went through several owners before Dick and Tom Wake's father, Bill, acquired the company with W.H. Michael in the 1950s, By that time, it has grown to handle distribution in the Fox Valley region, with centers in Aurora, Elgin and Joliet. Dick and Tom Wake joined their father in 1983 and continued to grow the company into other states through several acquisitions.