So, There's No More Maverick Spending?

Food exchanges merge

Chicago  May 22, 2001  In a move designed to reduce a claimed $14 billion in supply chain inefficiencies, eFS Network and Maverick Xchange today announced that they will merge.

The merger comes days after eFS Network named Hank Lambert, former president of Nabisco Inc.'s Foodservice Co., to serve as its CEO. Lambert will remain as eFS Network's CEO. Christopher Thorne, chairman and CEO of Maverick, will be the president. Pete Levangie, eFS Network's chief operating officer, will remain in that role in the merged company, which will determine a name and branding prior to the launch of its network.

The merger joins two companies with similar business models that were both in the final stages of launching independent foodservice networks, and both were formed by leading foodservice organizations to provide a neutral electronic network for all companies within the $399 billion foodservice supply chain. The two entities seek to facilitate information flow among manufacturers and distributors; promote industry-wide technology standards; and create efficiencies around order management, rebate management, logistics planning and supply chain management. The merged company's board will be comprised of former members of eFS Network and Maverick boards.

Chicago-based eFS Network was created in August 2000 by Cargill, Sysco Corp., Tyson Foods Inc. and McDonald's Corp. through eMac Digital, a company formed with Accel-KKR. New York-based Maverick launched its network in April 2000 as a consortium co-founded by 10 foodservice distribution companies, including the  Ben E. Keith Co., BiRite Foodservice and Dot Foods. Maverick has a strategic relationship with Pocahontas Foods USA, a national foodservice buying and marketing group that services 178 distributors representing $9 billion in annual sales. Maverick also has advisory councils of 10 leading manufacturing companies and 10 leading operators.

This merger both expands and accelerates our ability to deliver value to the industry, Lambert said. By combining eFS Network's global foodservice companies with Maverick's influential distributors and advising manufacturers and operators, we are positioned to provide the industry with a powerful electronic network.

We are a logical fit, added eFS Network board member John Lea, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Tyson Foods. The wide variety of companies of all sizes that are now integral to the new company reflects our desire to be neutral and inclusive.