GLENVIEW, Ill., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE), a leading global distributor of communication and security products, electrical and electronic wire & cable, fasteners and other small parts, today announced that its Board of Directors declared the payment of a special dividend to shareholders of $4.50 per common share, or a total cash outlay of approximately $150 million. The special dividend is payable on May 31, 2012 to shareholders of record on May 16, 2012.
Commenting on the special dividend payment, President and CEO Robert Eck, said, "Our continued strong cash flow generation of $780 million in the last three years has allowed us to reduce our outstanding debt by over 25 percent while also supporting the working capital requirements of our growing business. This substantial balance sheet deleveraging has resulted in a debt to total capital ratio of 44 percent at the end of the first quarter, which falls below our target range of 45–50 percent. This presented us with the opportunity to return capital to our shareholders while still maintaining ample resources to support foreseeable growth."
"As we continually assess our current capital structure and how to best deploy excess capital available to the company, we have concluded that significant further deleveraging would not be the optimal use of cash at this time," continued Eck. "In addition, we ended the most recent quarter with significant excess liquidity of more than $350 million. While we continue to look for strategic acquisitions that can profitably grow our business, we will only enter into those transactions when both the strategic fit and the valuation make sense. The amount of cash used in this dividend payment does not preclude our ability to make future acquisitions."
"The management team, working closely with the Board of Directors, believes a special dividend payment of this amount benefits all current shareholders. Not only do our shareholders receive a direct cash benefit, but the company's capital structure and investment profile remain unchanged. By making this payment in the form of a special dividend rather than committing to a regular dividend payment, we maintain the flexibility to utilize future cash flows to invest in the growth of the business as the global economy further improves," concluded Eck.