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United Stationers To Acquire CPO Commerce

DEERFIELD, Ill., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United Stationers (NASDAQ: USTR) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, United Stationers Supply Co., signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding shares of CPO Commerce, Inc., for an all cash purchase price of $30 million, with up to an additional $10 million to be paid in three years based on performance. 

CPO is a leading e-retailer of brand name power tools and equipment with proficiency in building and managing high performing online businesses.  This transaction significantly expands United's digital resources and capabilities to support resellers as they transition to an increasingly online environment.  CPO's expertise will strengthen United's ability to deliver such features as improved product content, real-time access to inventory and pricing, and digital marketing and merchandising.  CPO also provides an enhanced digital platform to support United's manufacturing partners. 

CPO's fiscal year 2013 sales were $78 million, with a sustained track record of double-digit annual growth.  The acquisition is expected to be slightly dilutive to United's earnings per share in its first full year as the company accelerates its digital strategy and investments.  The transaction is expected to close on May 30 and is subject to customary closing conditions.  United Stationers plans to fund this acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and cash available under its revolving credit facility.    

"We are positioning United to be the premier supplier of business essentials with a focus on winning the shift to online selling.  We have an expanding portfolio of e-commerce competencies and have invested in skilled leadership to grow our online business.  We expect CPO's e-commerce platform to provide new capabilities to allow us to drive digital services, engage our resellers through online tools, and enable their continued online success.  This acquisition is the next step in executing our strategy, and I am pleased to welcome CPO's associates as they become a part of our company," commented P. Cody Phipps, United Stationers' president and chief executive officer.   

"We are excited to bring our e-commerce expertise to United Stationers and look forward to leveraging United's strong operational capabilities to better serve our customers and brand partners.  We are equally excited to be joining a company with an outstanding, purpose-driven culture," commented Rob Tolleson, CPO's founder and president. 

Forward-Looking Statement  

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including references to goals, plans, strategies, objectives, projected costs or savings, anticipated future performance, results or events and other statements that are not strictly historical in nature.  These statements are based on management's current expectations, forecasts and assumptions.  This means they involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied here.  These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: United's reliance on key customers, and the risks inherent in continuing or increased customer concentration; end-user demand for products in the office, technology, and furniture product categories may continue to decline; prevailing economic conditions and changes affecting the business products industry and the general economy; United's ability to effectively manage its operations and to implement growth, cost-reduction and margin-enhancement initiatives; United's reliance on supplier allowances and promotional incentives; United's reliance on independent resellers for a significant percentage of its net sales and, therefore, the importance of the continued independence, viability and success of these resellers; continuing or increasing competitive activity and pricing pressures within existing or expanded product categories, including competition from product manufacturers who sell directly to United's customers; the impact of supply chain disruptions or changes in key suppliers' distribution strategies; United's ability to maintain its existing information technology systems and the systems and e-commerce services that it provides to customers, and to successfully procure, develop and implement new systems and services without business disruption or other unanticipated difficulties or costs; the creditworthiness of United's customers; United's ability to manage inventory in order to maximize sales and supplier allowances while minimizing excess and obsolete inventory; United's success in effectively identifying, consummating and integrating acquisitions; the risks and expense associated with United's obligations to maintain the security of private information provided by United's customers; the costs and risks related to compliance with laws, regulations and industry standards affecting United's business; the availability of financing sources to meet United's business needs; United's reliance on key management personnel, both in day-to-day operations and in execution of new business initiatives; and the effects of hurricanes, acts of terrorism and other natural or man-made disruptions. 

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