US Foods Said to Seek to Raise About $1 Billion in IPO

US Foods Holding Corp., the food distributor that filed for an initial public offering Tuesday, will seek to raise about $1 billion when it sells shares, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company, backed by KKR & Co. and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, is closely monitoring market volatility to determine the timing of the potential IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. US Foods filed its initial prospectus with a placeholder size of $100 million, an amount used to calculate fees that will change.

US Foods didn’t name underwriters or provide terms in the initial prospectus.

A representative for US Foods didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokesmen for KKR and CD&R declined to comment. 

Food distributor Sysco Corp. was prevented from buying US Foods last year, after agreeing to acquire the company in 2013 for about $3.5 billion. The 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. Editas has since fallen below its IPO price.

Airport restaurant and concessions company OTG EXP Inc. delayed its offering Tuesday because of unfavorable market conditions after lowering the marketed price range.

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.

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