Colabor buys Quebec meat distributor

A major food wholesaler and distributor in business across Eastern Canada has expanded its reach in Quebec with the purchase of a Montreal-area competitor.

Colabor Group announced Thursday it has bought Viandes Decarie, a wholesaler and distributor of fresh and frozen beef, veal, pork, poultry and lamb at Anjou, Que., for an undisclosed sum.

Decarie’s customer base includes food retailers, foodservice distributors and specialty butchers, located "mainly in Quebec," Colabor said, but noted Decarie also has federal licensing to sell outside the province.

Decarie, in business since 1994, operates out of a 27,000-square-foot warehouse. The company booked sales of almost $70 million in its fiscal year ending April 30.

"This transaction will further enhance our offering in a growth niche and will allow us to increase our sales to existing customers while penetrating the specialty butcher market," Colabor CEO Gilles Lachance said in a release.

The "senior officers" of Viandes Decarie will join Colabor’s staff once the deal is sealed, expected next month, Lachance said.

The deal, he added, is expected to "bring operating synergies" and improve Colabor’s earnings per share in 2012.

Boucherville, Que.-based Colabor, whose own business covers retail and foodservice customers across Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, noted the acquisition is its second in under a year in the "’centre of the plate’ meal solutions category."

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