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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.

Reinhart regional president Mike Dvorak did not respond to an interview request Tuesday, nor did the regional human resources department.

The company, now headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, employs roughly 5,600 people across 26 distribution centers, including in Shawano and Milwaukee.

It was unclear Tuesday how many workers the La Crosse center employs, or how the merger will affect the local plant.

“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.

“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.”

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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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