Houston Wire & Cable files IPO for $112.7 million in stock

Houston Wire & Cable Co., a Houston-based specialty wire and cable distributor, has filed an initial public offering to sell up to $112.7 million in common stock, according to a Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Houston Wire & Cable said it was not allowed to comment at press time. This would be the second time in the 31-year-old Houston Wire & Cable's history that the company traded publicly.

The company intends to have its common stock listed for quotation on the NASDAQ under the symbol HWCC. An estimated price range for the public offering wasn't disclosed in the filing. The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay debt.

Houston Wire & Cable had 2005 sales of $214 million, up from $172.7 million in 2004 and $149.1 million in 2003.

The $112.7 million valuation for the IPO was estimated solely for calculating the registration fee, the filing said, and is subject to change.

Houston Wire & Cable was founded by Terry Hunt in 1975. He took it public and then sold it to Alltel Corp. in 1989, when the company's name was changed to HWC Distribution. Hunt moved on to launch Futronix, a distributor of discontinued and surplus electrical equipment, then moved into wire and cable distribution in direct competition with HWC.

Alltel sold HWC Distribution in 1997 to a management group led by John Myers, a former HWC executive who had left in 1992 to run Graybar Electric Co.'s wire and cable division in Houston. With financial backing from Code, Hennessy & Simmons, Myers returned as president, chief executive officer and part-owner, and changed the company's name back to Houston Wire & Cable. Futronix was later sold to Houston Wire & Cable in 2000.

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