Anixter International Inc., a global distributor of network and security solutions, electrical and electronic solutions and utility power solutions, has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) to be acquired in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $3.8 billion. The transaction will result in Anixter becoming a private company and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, CD&R-managed funds will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anixter common stock for $81 per share in cash. This represents a premium of approximately 13 percent over Anixter’s closing price on Oct. 29, 2019, and a premium of approximately 27 percent over the 90-day volume-weighted average price of Anixter’s common stock for the period ended Oct. 29.
“We believe this transaction is in the best interest of Anixter and our stockholders,” said Bill Galvin, Anixter’s president and chief executive officer. “After careful and thorough analysis, together with our independent advisors, our board of directors unanimously approved this transaction with CD&R, which has a strong reputation and a track record of success in helping industrial distributors, like Anixter, prosper and grow. We are also pleased that this transaction appropriately recognizes the value of Anixter’s customer relationships, technology and solutions, financial management and global market position. It’s a great outcome for Anixter’s employees, customers and partners. As a private company, we believe Anixter will have greater flexibility to focus on and accelerate our long-term strategic priorities.”
Nate Sleeper, partner at CD&R, said, “Anixter is an exceptionally well-positioned industrial distributor with leading market positions and differentiated capabilities that deliver strong customer value. We look forward to partnering with the outstanding management team, led by Bill Galvin, on initiatives to grow the business and further strengthen its competitive position while maintaining Anixter’s distinctive culture grounded in operational excellence, innovation and an unwavering commitment to the company’s employees, customers and global partners.”
It is anticipated that upon completion of the transaction, Bill Galvin, along with other members of Anixter’s executive management team, will continue to lead the company. Anixter’s board of directors has unanimously approved the agreement with CD&R and recommends that Anixter stockholders approve the proposed merger and merger agreement. Anixter expects to hold a special meeting of stockholders to consider and vote on the proposed merger and merger agreement as soon as practicable after the mailing of the proxy statement to its stockholders.
The transaction is subject to the approval of Anixter’s stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction has fully committed financing and is not subject to any condition with regard to the financing. Equity financing will be provided by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund X, L.P., an approximately $10 billion pool of equity capital managed by CD&R; committed debt financing has been obtained from Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Credit Suisse. Certain stockholders of Anixter, including entities associated with Sam Zell, chairman of the Anixter board, which own approximately 9 percent of the outstanding shares of Anixter common stock, have entered into a voting agreement with CD&R, pursuant to which they have agreed, among other things, to vote their shares of Anixter common stock in favor of the merger.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Anixter may solicit superior proposals from third parties for a period of 40 calendar days continuing through Dec. 9.
Centerview Partners LLC is serving as lead financial advisor, Wells Fargo Securities LLC is also serving as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor to Anixter in connection with the transaction. BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Credit Suisse are serving as financial advisors to CD&R, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal advisor to CD&R.