SYSCO Corporation (NYSE: SYY), North America's largest foodservice marketer and distributor, today announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire North Douglas Distributors, LTD., the largest independently owned broadline foodservice distributor on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The purchase is subject to SYSCO's due diligence and the negotiation of a definitive agreement.

Founded in 1972 by Armando Barbon and his wife, Yole, North Douglas distributes approximately 7,000 products from its 120,000 square-foot operation, including fresh seafood and produce as well as a broad array of traditional foodservice products. The company serves approximately 2,500 institutional, commercial and retail customers including restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, grocery stores and other foodservice establishments throughout the greater Victoria area, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. North Douglas also has several value added food processing capabilities that enable the company to produce custom designed products including cheese shredding and grating, spice packing, fresh fish processing and fresh produce cutting and packaging. North Douglas expects that annual sales will be approximately $47 million (U.S.) for its fiscal year ending January 31, 2001.

Commenting on the announcement, Charles H. Cotros, SYSCO's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This acquisition provides many opportunities and synergies for SYSCO, including the ability to more efficiently serve customers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands that are currently supplied from other SYSCO operations in Vancouver. The company's reputation is a direct reflection of Armando Barbon's commitment to providing quality products and excellent customer service. Under the guidance of Armando and his son, Nino, those same principles will continue as North Douglas joins the SYSCO family."

SYSCO Corporation is the largest foodservice marketing and distribution organization in North America, providing food and related products and services to about 356,000 customers. The SYSCO distribution network, supported by more than 40,000 employees, currently extends throughout the entire contiguous United States, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Hawaii and portions of Canada. For fiscal 2000, which ended July 1, 2000, the company reported sales of $19.3 billion.

Certain statements made herein are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include statements regarding expected sales for North Douglas Distributors. These statements are based on management's and North Douglas' current expectations and estimates; actual results may differ materially due to certain risks and uncertainties. For example, North Douglas' ability to achieve expected results may be affected by competitive price pressures, availability of supplies, work stoppages, successful integration of North Douglas' operations by the Company, conditions in the economy, industry growth and internal factors, such as the ability to control expenses. For a discussion of similar factors affecting the Company, see the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 1, 2000 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.