THE FOOD service division of the Keelings Group has been acquired by Pallas Foods on behalf of its parent company Sysco Corporation for an undislosed sum.Keelings' food services' division specialises in fresh produce, employs 160 and has operations based in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Wexford. Reporting through Pallas Foods, the business will retain its existing brand identity and management team. All employees will remain with the business. The acquisition expands Sysco's presence in Ireland and significantly strengthens its produce offering. Having acquired Pallas Foods in 2009, Sysco also agreed to acquire Crossgar Foodservice, a leading food service supplier in Northern Ireland. The transaction was completed in August 2012. The wider Keelings Group, headquartered in North County Dublin, has operations in Ireland, the UK, Europe and Asia. Keelings is a fresh produce specialist and is the largest grower of fruit in Ireland. The Keelings Group continues to operate its retail, market, international and solutions divisions. Tim Geary, Chairman of Pallas Foods, which is based in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, said: 'Keelings' food services' business is a strong entity with excellent people, produce and customer relationships. ' This investment provides us additional strategic opportunities in Ireland and offers our existing customers, and those of Keelings, a wider and broader choice. ' We look forward to working with Keelings and positioning this investment for further growth in the years ahead.' Joseph Keeling, CEO and Chairman of Keelings Group said: ' This is a good transaction all round for both Keelings Group and Sysco, but more importantly, it is a good transaction for our growing customer base across the island of Ireland and our highly committed and skilled workforce. ' The transaction provides the business with a number of benefits, particularly access to Sysco's scale and expertise. Working with its new owners, Keelings' food services division looks forward to continuing to improve our service to our customers.'