Cabling and security specialist Anixter 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 €3.4 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 €73.40 per share in cash. This represents a premium of approximately 13% over Anixter’s closing price on October 29, 2019, and a premium of approximately 27% over the 90-day volume-weighted average price of Anixter’s common stock for the period ended October 29, 2019.
“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 €9 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% 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 favour 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 December 9, 2019. In accordance with the merger agreement, Anixter’s Board of Directors, with the assistance of its advisors, intends to solicit superior proposals during this period. In addition, Anixter may, at any time, subject to the provisions of the merger agreement, respond to unsolicited proposals that are reasonably likely to result in a superior proposal. Anixter advises that there can be no assurance that the solicitation process will result in an alternative transaction. To the extent that a superior proposal received prior to December 9, 2019 or, in certain circumstances, 10 days thereafter leads to the execution of a definitive agreement, Anixter would be obligated to pay a €40.8 million break-up fee to CD&R. Anixter does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this solicitation process unless and until it determines it is appropriate to do so.