KKR-Backed US Foods Files for Initial Public Offering

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US Foods Holding Corp., the food distributor Sysco Corp. was blocked from buying last year, filed for an initial public offering.

The company, backed by KKR & Co. and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, filed its initial prospectus Tuesday with an offering size of $100 million, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that will change.

Sysco agreed to acquire the company in 2013 for about $3.5 billion, but that deal was blocked by a federal judge who said a merger of the food-distribution giants would probably reduce competition and raise prices for hotels and restaurants.

Only two companies have gone public in the U.S. this year, as heightened volatility in equity markets soured investor appetite for new listings. BeiGene Ltd., a biotechnology company based in Beijing, and Editas Medicine Inc., the gene-editing drugmaker backed by Bill Gates and GV, both climbed in their trading debuts last week.

US Foods, which distributes brands including Devonshire desserts and Molly’s Kitchen empanadas, was acquired by KKR and CD&R for about $7.1 billion in a leveraged buyout completed in 2007.

The Rosemont, Illinois-based company posted a net loss of $73 million in fiscal 2014, on net sales of $23 billion, according to the prospectus. In the 39 weeks ended Sept. 26, the company reported net income of $177 million on $17.2 billion in net sales.

AdvancePierre Foods, the food maker and supplier backed by Oaktree Capital Group LLC, tapped Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley to manage its IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said last week. The company could be valued at as much as $2.5 billion, the people said.

US Foods plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol USFD. The company didn’t list underwriters in Tuesday’s filing.

(Updates with AdvancePierre IPO plans in seventh paragraph.)
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