Anixter Ends Bidding War; Agrees to Wesco’s $4.5B Buyout Offer

Anixter announced plans in October to be acquired by a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice affiliate for $3.8 billion; however, the deal allowed for better proposals.

GLENVIEW, Ill. — Anixter Int’l (NYSE: AXE), based here, said Monday it will be acquired by Wesco Int’l for $4.5 billion, creating an electrical and data communications wholesale distribution company with $17 billion in annual revenues.

The agreement has been approved by the boards of both companies. The transaction is subject to Anixter stockholder approval, as well as regulatory approval in the United States, Canada and certain other foreign jurisdictions, and customary closing conditions. The companies anticipate completing the transaction during the second or third quarter of 2020.

The agreement concludes a bidding war between Wesco (NYSE: WCC) and an affiliate of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). Anixter’s initial agreement in October to be acquired by the private equity firm for $81 a share in cash was terminated after CD&R waived its matching rights under the agreement.

Under terms of the merger agreement announced Monday, Wesco will pay the equivalent of $100 for each Anixter share outstanding, including $70 in cash, 0.2397 shares of Wesco common stock and preferred stock consideration valued at $15.89 for each Anixter share.

Wesco said it expects to realize “cost synergies” of more than $200 million by the end of year three “through efficiencies in corporate and regional overhead, including duplicative public company costs, branch and distribution center optimization, and productivity in procurement, field operations, and supply chain.”

“The transformational combination of Wesco and Anixter will create a premier electrical and data communications distribution and supply chain services company. With increased scale and complementary capabilities, we will be ideally positioned to digitize our business, expand our extensive services portfolio and supply chain offerings, and deliver solutions to our customers whenever and wherever they need them around the globe,” states John Engel, Wesco’s chairman, president, and CEO.

After the deal closes, Wesco shareholders will own 84% of the combined company and Anixter shareholders 16%. Anixter President and CEO Bill Galvin states that joining with Wesco will allow the combined company to build on complementary capabilities and create new ways to serve customers and partners.

“This is the result of a very thorough process to determine the value of our company. It’s also a recognition of the enormous value created by our talented people, Anixter’s deep industry relationships, innovative technology solutions, and global reach,” Galvin says.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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