Anixter International announced Thursday that almost all its shareholders approved the $4.5 billion merger bid by WESCO International, providing a penultimate step in the mega-deal between two large electrical/industrial distributors.
Glenview, IL-based Anixter said 99.42 percent of its shareholders approved the amended deal at a stockholder meeting on Thursday.
The merger — which will form a $17 billion combined distributor of electrical, security, data and industrial MRO products — still must meet various SEC closing conditions, including regulatory approval in Canada and Mexico, but is still expected to close during either the second or third quarter of 2020.
"We are very pleased that the Anixter stockholders voted overwhelmingly in support of this transaction, which will be transformative for both companies," said John Engel, WESCO chairman, president and CEO. "By voting in favor of the merger of these two outstanding companies, Anixter stockholders voted to become owners of an industry leader in electrical and data communications distribution. We look forward to creating tremendous value for our stockholders through this highly synergistic and complementary business combination."
Most recently on March 10, WESCO announced an updated financing plan for the merger, saying it now expects to fund the entirety of the cash portion of the deal with debt and cash on-hand. On Feb. 28, WESCO announced that the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended with the Anixter merger, expired at the end of Feb. 26.
Between October 2019 and January 2020, Anixter was in the middle of a bidding war between WESCO and private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Anixter originally reached an agreement with CD&R on Oct. 30, which was amended higher before WESCO proposed its own offer just before Christmas, and Anixter fielded another round of bids from those two companies before announcing Jan. 9 that it preferred WESCO’s latest offer.
WESCO reported its 2019 full-year financial results on Jan. 30, showing it had total sales of $8.4 billion, up 2.2 percent from 2018, while total profit of $223 million was marginally down.