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Essendant Offers Update on Proposed S.P. Richards Merger

Essendant Inc. provided several updates to its proposed merger with Genuine Parts Co.’s S.P. Richards business this week.

The company confirmed that its agreement with GPC remains in effect, and that Essendant’s board of directors has not changed its recommendation that shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

Essendant also said that it has received a “second request” for information from the Federal Trade Commission regarding the deal. The request extends the waiting period for the merger until 30 days after Essendant and GPC have complied with the request.

Regarding Essendant’s unsolicited merger proposal from Staples, Inc., the company said it provided Staples with a revised confidentiality agreement on May 17. As of early June, Essendant said Staples has not entered into a confidentiality agreement with Essendant and has not engaged in discussions with the distributor about the proposal.

Essendant and Genuine Parts Company entered into a merger agreement on April 10, 2018, to combine Essendant and GPC’s S.P. Richards business in a deal valued at $680 million, including a one-time cash payment to GPC of $347 million. Just about a month later, Essendant Inc. confirmed that it received an unsolicited proposal from Staples, Inc. to acquire all shares of Essendant stock for $11.50 per share in cash.

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