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Anicom Buys Zack-Datacom and TW Communication

Jan. 1, 2003
Moving to solidify its position in the communications industry, Anicom, Inc., Rosemont,Ill., acquired Zack-Datacom, the voice and data division of Zack

Moving to solidify its position in the communications industry, Anicom, Inc., Rosemont,Ill., acquired Zack-Datacom, the voice and data division of Zack Electronics, Inc., and TW Communication Corp., Farmingdale, N.Y., a multimedia wiring distributor.

Zack Electronics was acquired for $4.7 million, which included $1.5 million in cash and $3.2 million in stock. Zack-Datacom had net sales of approximately $10 million in fiscal 1996. The San Jose-based company, with locations in Sacramento, San Jose and Duarte (Los Angeles), Calif., is Anicom's 11th acquisition since July 1995.

Anicom announced Nov. 25 that it had reached an agreement to pay $13 million in stock and $3 million in cash for TW Communication.The purchase further strengthens Anicom's position as a nationwide specialty distributor of multimedia wiring products, said Scott C. Anixter, Anicom's chief executive officer.

Anicom is now positioned to distribute CATV industry products for the first time and to move from the periphery into close association with products for independent telephone companies, Anixter said. Anicom expects to use its national network to expand in these markets after the purchase is finalized.

Since July 1995, Anicom has acquired 12 businesses at a total cost nearing $79.5 million. The most expensive purchase, $29 million, involved Energy Electric Cable, Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich., in July. The TW Communication purchase is the Anicom's second-largest.

Anicom's aggressive mode of acquisition could continue in coming months in part because of an agreement to sell 2.9 million shares of company common stock in a private placement for approximately $38 million. Investors include Fidelity Management & Research Co., and proceeds will cover debt of the combined companies. "I'm sure that we will examine acquisition opportunities as they develop in 1998," Anixter said, but he declined to elaborate.

The TW purchase brings to Anicom 150 employees and seven locations: Scranton, Pa.; Farmingdale, N.Y.; Marlborough, Mass.; Philadelphia; St. Louis; Los Angeles; and Orlando, Fla. Anicom employees now total 850 in more than 55 locations nationally and recorded revenues of about $82 million in fiscal '97.

Anicom also announced that it had entered into an agreement with Motorola Corp., Schaumburg, Ill., to distribute Motorola's Spirit Professional two-way radios. Anixter said two-way radios were a natural product for their customer base, and the product really sells itself because everybody knows what they are and what they do. Plus, Motorola has offered substantial resources, such as training and market expertise, to help Anicom move forward with the Spirit line, Anixter said.