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Anixter exits network integration business

March 1, 2003
Anixter International, Skokie, Ill., moved completely out of the network integration market with an agreement to sell off its North American network integration

Anixter International, Skokie, Ill., moved completely out of the network integration market with an agreement to sell off its North American network integration business for $200 million in cash to Ameritech, Chicago, Ill. The sale of its network integration business was necessary for Anixter because "our ability to realize the full potential of the network integration operation was being hampered by limits we placed on the business" to avoid conflict with customers of Anixter's distribution business, said Robert Grubb, president and chief executive officer of Anixter.

Ameritech, with operations in local and long-distance telephone and data service, cellular, paging, security, cable television and Internet access, considers data one of its fastest-growing target markets. The Anixter acquisition also helps Ameritech develop a nationwide local presence, an ambition that is also behind the company's proposed multi-billion-dollar merger with SBC Communications.

The sale allows Anixter to concentrate on its distribution businesses. "Anixter's core competence has always been its knowledge of communication products and superior logistics capabilities," Grubb said. "By devoting all our efforts to distributing communications and wire and cable products, we believe we can profitably build on our position as the leading global distributor." Anixter will be pursuing new growth opportunities in integrated supply, original equipment manufacture (OEM) supply and the public network market.

About the Author

Doug Chandler | Senior Staff Writer

Doug has been reporting and writing on the electrical industry for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing since 1992 and still finds the industry’s evolution and the characters who inhabit its companies endlessly fascinating. That was true even before e-commerce, LED lighting and distributed generation began to disrupt so many of the electrical industry’s traditional practices.

Doug earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas after spending a few years in KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism, then deciding he absolutely did not want to be a journalist. In the company of his wife, two kids, two dogs and two cats, he spends a lot of time in the garden and the kitchen – growing food, cooking, brewing beer – and helping to run the family coffee shop.

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