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Genuine Parts to spin off business to merge with Essendant

April 12 (Reuters) - Genuine Parts Co said it would spin off its wholesale distribution business S.P. Richards into a separate company and merge it with office furniture distributor Essendant in a deal structured as a Reverse Morris Trust.

The deal implied a valuation of about $680 million for S.P. Richards. Genuine Parts shareholders will get $347 million in cash and 51 percent of the newly-formed combined company.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)