(Bloomberg) With its strength in the United States as well as other international markets, industrial electronics distributor Premier Farnell plc, a Top 300 B2B e-commerce company, is too good to give up—at least not yet, Switzerland-based distributor Datwyler Holding AG says.
Datwyler Holding AG said last week it’s still considering whether to pursue a takeover of Premier Farnell plc after the U.K. supplier of Raspberry Pi mini computers agreed to a 691 million-pound ($896 million) counter bid from Avnet Inc. United Kingdom-based Premier Farnell is No. 110 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, which ranks companies on their annual web sales.
In the event Datwyler walks away from a bidding war, it would incur costs of as much as 48 million francs ($49.2 million), including transaction costs and hedging and exchange rate expenses, the Swiss company said in an earnings release on Friday. An announcement will be made in due course, it said.
Datwyler’s 615-million-pound (US$791.6 million) bid for Premier Farnell was trumped by Avnet’s cash offer, made a month after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. The outcome of the poll weakened the pound against the dollar, meaning that the price tag in U.S. dollars for Phoenix, Arizona-based Avnet shrunk by $66.5 million compared with nine days before the referendum, when Datwyler struck its deal.
Datwyler’s CEO Paul Haelg has signaled that he wants to expand in the U.S., Asia and other European markets, and the company reiterated Friday that a successful takeover would turn the Swiss company into “a leading high-service electronic components distributor” with annual revenue of about 1.8 billion francs. Revenue jumped 7.3% to 621.1 million Swiss francs (US$637.7 million) in the first half.
The shares increased 1.3 percent to 139.2 francs (US$142.9) as of 9:30 a.m. in Zurich.
Avnet will pay 185 pence (US$2.42) a share in cash, according to a statement Thursday from the companies. The price is 12% higher than Datwyler’s 165-pence (US$2.16) bid. Premier Farnell’s board plans to unanimously recommend the offer to shareholders and is no longer supporting Datwyler’s proposal, it said in the statement. Datwyler has taken note of Avnet’s counterbid and is considering its options, a representative of the company said by phone.
Premier Farnell, which operates in 35 countries and stocks some 500,000 products, maintains e-commerce sites under brands including Farnell element14 in Europe, Farnell Newark in Brazil, and Newark element14 in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It operates three e-commerce sites for North America: Newark.com in the United States, Canada.newark.com and Mexico.newark.com.
Premier Farnell also operates element14 Community at element14.com, where more than 320,000 electrical engineers worldwide have registered to research and share information on electronics products. Visitors to element14.com can link directly to Premier Farnell’s e-commerce sites to make online purchases.
Avnet and Datwyler have targeted Premier Farnell in an effort to consolidate the fragmented European electronic-components distribution market. The U.K. company and Avnet share similar strategic values and are complementary in terms of product range, distribution channels and geographic footprint, the companies said.
Combining the businesses should lead to procurement savings and also increase revenue as the companies sell each other’s products, the companies said. The deal should add to Avnet’s earnings per share as soon as it is completed, according to the statement. Premier Farnell’s Raspberry Pi computers are programmable and were designed to help people with coding.
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