HOUSTON — Houston Wire & Cable Company (HWCC) announced Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement for the sale of its Southwest Wire Rope business, a provider of lifting slings and wire rope and rigging products, for a purchase price of $5 million, subject to a working capital adjustment. The sale excludes approximately $2.6 million of trade accounts receivable, which HWCC will retain. HWCC expects to use the net sales proceeds and accounts receivable collections to further reduce Revolver debt. HWCC has already reduced Revolver debt to approximately $21.4 million as of January 13, from a peak of $95.2 million in the first quarter of 2020.
James L. Pokluda III, HWCC President & CEO commented, “Southwest Wire Rope is a company that for over fifty years has been a leading supplier of quality lifting slings, wire rope and rigging supplies to the lifting industry. We wish them much success in the future. Proceeds from the sales of Southern Wire and Southwest Wire Rope allow us to reduce debt, which lessens financial risk in these uncertain times.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter.
Southern Wire Sale
HWCC announced Jan. 6 that it completed the sale of its Southern Wire business, a wholesale distributor of wire rope and rigging products, to Southern Rigging Companies. The sale closed on December 31, 2020 for a purchase price of $20 million, subject to a working capital adjustment. HWCC used the net proceeds of approximately $18.1 million to reduce debt.
The Company made great progress reducing debt during the year as Revolver debt decreased $66.4 million from its peak of $95.2 million in the first quarter to $22.6 million at year-end. The Revolver debt reflects proceeds from the sale of the Southern Wire division at December 31, 2020 of $18.1 million. Excluding the Southern Wire proceeds, Revolver debt at year-end would have been $40.7 million.
As previously communicated, the Company’s year-end goal was to lower Revolver debt to between $40 to $45 million, excluding a divestiture. The Company achieved its Revolver debt goal and believes the substantial debt reduction of $66.4 million lessens financial risk without any deterioration of its ability to provide excellent customer service.
The Company also has a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan of $6.2 million which was received on May 4, 2020 and funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. We anticipate approximately $5.8 million of this loan will be forgiven in 2021. Total debt at December 31, 2020, which includes the Revolver and PPP debt, was $28.8 million.
James L. Pokluda III, HWCC President & CEO commented, “We are excited we were able to complete the Southern Wire sale in 2020 and I am pleased to report that the sale of this division, together with our prudent management of working capital and expense reduction initiatives, has allowed us to reduce our debt to $28.8 million at year end, down 70% from the peak in 2020. In addition, we were able to achieve this debt reduction while maintaining our outstanding customer service.”
About the Company
With 45 years’ experience in the industry, Houston Wire & Cable Company, an industrial distributor, is a large provider of products in the U.S. market. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Company has sales and distribution facilities strategically located throughout the United States.
Standard stock items available for immediate delivery include continuous and interlocked armor cable; instrumentation cable; medium voltage cable; high temperature wire; portable cord; power cable; primary and secondary aluminum distribution cable; private branded products, including LifeGuard™, a low-smoke, zero-halogen cable; mechanical wire and cable and related hardware, including wire rope, lifting products and synthetic rope and slings; corrosion resistant fasteners, hose clamps, and rivets.