WESCO International has upped the bidding war for Glenview-based industrial electronics company Anixter International, submitting a counterproposal to one made by New York investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC last week.
WESCO's new proposal would offer Anixter shareholders a cash/stock combination that totals approximately $97 per share. The Pittsburgh-based electronics distribution and services company submitted an bid for $93.50 per share late last month, but was countered by CD&R's offer of $93.50 per share in the all-cash deal. That deal was accepted by the Anixter board of directors on Jan. 2.
WESCO's offer would bring the total acquisition price to nearly $4.5 billion, up from the $4.3 billion from the latest CD&R offer.
Anixter officials in a statement said they would consider the WESCO offer, but stressed the company's board of directors still stands in support of the current CD&R offer. Anixter officials said they would not comment any further on the matter.
Anixter board chairman Sam Zell, who owns about 9% on Anixter's stock, said last week that the CD&R offer "is superior to WESCO's offer."
Any acquisition bid is still subject to the approval of Anixter's stockholders, who will meet Feb. 4 in Chicago to approve an acquisition bid.
CD&R's original offer for Anixter was made Oct. 30, offering a per-share price of $81 in a deal worth $3.8 billion. It has increased its bid twice since the original offer. CD&R's deal, if approved by the stockholders, will take the publicly-traded company private. Anixter CEO Bill Galvin and company executives would continue to lead the company.