U.S. News

CDW Agrees to $7.3 Billion Buyout by Private Equity Firm


CDW, a distributor of hardware, software and technology accessories, agreed to be acquired by a private equity company in a $7.3 billion deal.

Under the agreement with Chicago's Madison Dearborn Partners, CDW shareholders will receive $87.75 in cash for each share of common stock, CDW said in a news release issued after the close of business.

CDW said that's a 16.1% premium over the Vernon Hills-based company's $75.56 closing share price Friday and a premium of approximately 31.4% over the average closing share price during the previous 90 trading days.

On Tuesday, CDW's shares rose to a seven-year high, after The Wall Street Journal reported it was in talks to be acquired.

John A. Edwardson, CDW's chairman and chief executive officer, said in the release that the buyout represents a new chapter for the company.

"We are pleased to partner with the world-class investment firm of MDP, whose investment goals are closely aligned with our strategy and long-term objectives," he said.

Messages seeking further comment were left for CDW Tuesday evening and attempts to reach Madison Dearborn Partners were not successful. Messages left for both before the announcement were not returned Tuesday.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by early in the fourth quarter of this year.

The 23-year-old CDW buys computers and related equipment from such manufacturers as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Apple Computer and markets them to small and mid-size businesses, governments and school systems, customizing the products and offering other services.

Last year, CDW earned $266.1 million on sales of $6.8 billion. The stock, which has traded as low as $50.28 in the past 52 weeks, topped its previous 52-week high of $79.71.
CDW competes against companies like Insight Enterprises and Dell.