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Merchants Acquires E.G. Forrest

Merchants Foodservice has acquired E.G. Forrest Co., a food distributor headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The E.G. Forrest assets will improve the coverage and distribution area of Merchants, which currently serves more than 6,000 customers in 10 Southeastern states through four state-of-the-art distribution facilities and a fleet of multi-temperature tractor-trailer units. Select E.G. Forrest assets will be folded into the Merchants distribution facility and warehouse in Newberry, South Carolina. The deal was finalized on May 6.

“We are excited about welcoming our new customers into the Merchants family and expanding our customer base in the area,” said Andy Mercier, Merchants president and CEO. “We look forward to serving the independent restaurant community of North Carolina.”

E.G. Forrest was founded in 1920 and has emerged from a local company into a regional broadline distributor covering the Carolinas and southern Virginia. Like Merchants, which was founded in 1904, E.G. Forrest has remained a family-owned and independent distributor. The combination of the two companies will allow for continued high-quality products and competitive pricing.

“Our company is proud to join another strong, independent and family-owned business to continue serving the E.G. Forrest customers in the customer service-oriented business approach we’ve maintained for nearly a century,” said Louis Forrest, CEO of E.G. Forrest.

Headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Merchants is ranked number 13th in sales volume among the approximately 2,600 food distribution companies in the United States with 2015 sales of nearly $650 million. In addition to the facility in Newberry, other distribution centers are located in Jackson, Mississippi; Clanton, Alabama; and Tifton, Georgia.

Food safety, sustainability and the latest technology remain at the core of the Merchants mission to provide quality products and services to customers.