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Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) today announced that its board of directors declared the payment of a special dividend to shareholders of $5 per common share, or a total cash outlay of approximately $165 million. The special dividend is payable on January 2, 2014, to shareholders of record on December 11, 2013.
Commenting on the special dividend payment, President and CEO Robert Eck said, “Our continued strong cash flow generation of nearly $500 million over the past three years has resulted in a debt to total capital ratio of 43 percent at the end of the third 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 further deleveraging the balance sheet 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 $500 million. While we continue to look for strategic acquisitions that can profitably grow our business, we will only enter into those transactions when the strategic fit, valuation and associated risk make sense. The amount of cash used in this special 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 also 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 use future cash flows to invest in the growth of the business as the global economy further improves,” concluded Eck.