HOUSTON – Sysco Corp. announced the company has purchased a 50 percent stake in Mayca Distribuidores S.A., a leading food distributor in Costa Rica. The deal is subject to regulatory review by Costa Rica government authorities.

"This is a great day for the employees and customers of Mayca, as we become joint partners with Sysco, which is considered the global industry leader in foodservice distribution," said Jose Maroto, president and CEO of Mayca. "Most important, our customers will further benefit from the breadth of Sysco's product assortment, capabilities and years of professional expertise."

Privately-owned Mayca has been in business since 1995. Its other businesses include a retail cash-and-carry affiliate with seven locations, a cold-storage company and a truck leasing company. Sysco said Mayca's 405 employees and the company's management team would remain with the company at the closing of the transaction.

"We are excited to be partnering with the Mayca family of businesses, as they are well respected across Costa Rica for their focus on customer service and their success," said Kent Humphries, Sysco's senior vice president-International Foodservice Operations. "With this being our first strategic investment in Central America, we also will be looking to the Mayca leadership team to help Sysco better understand the marketplace. We believe that we can combine the strengths of Mayca and Sysco to better serve customers in the region, to grow the business and to provide value to our shareholders."

The partnership with Mayca would be Sysco's fifth country outside the United States where Sysco will have a foodservice distribution business, the company noted. Sysco has businesses in Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Bahamas. Sysco also has subsidiaries in more than 90 countries throughout the world. Sysco reported sales of more than $44 billion for fiscal year 2013 ending June 29, 2013.