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Supporting Multinational Customers Abroad: Anixter

With acquisitions in the past two months in Germany, France, Mexico and Wisconsin, Anixter International's global growth plan may not seem clear. Companies often focus on specific geographies where they want to build their presence. And while that is a consideration for Anixter, according to CFO Dennis Letham, there's a more important driver when making acquisition decisions.
 
"The real focus of each of these acquisitions is supporting the multinational companies that we serve as they expand globally,"Letham tells MDM in a recent conversation. "We want to support them ...

With acquisitions in the past two months in Germany, France, Mexico and Wisconsin, Anixter International’s global growth plan may not seem clear. Companies often focus on specific geographies where they want to build their presence. And while that is a consideration for Anixter, according to CFO Dennis Letham, there’s a more important driver when making acquisition decisions.
 
“The real focus of each of these acquisitions is supporting the multinational companies that we serve as they expand globally,”Letham tells MDM in a recent conversation. “We want to support them wherever they are.”
 
And, these acquisitions -entirely coincidental in the timing of their announcements -are examples of how Anixter hopes to achieve that level of support. By subscribing to the philosophy of being where your customer is, Anixter has opened the door to big growth opportunities.
 
Will the plan pay off? So far it has. Though we have to wait and see how the third quarter plays out for the company, the first half of 2008 saw profits and sales increase by 5% and 9%, respectively, over the first half of 2007.
 
Anixter, based in Glenview, IL, is a distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire &cable, fasteners and other small parts. In 2007 it reported sales of $5.85 billion.

A full article on Anixter’s growth strategy will be published in the Oct. 10, 2008, issue of MDM’s premium content newsletter. Learn more about premium content here.

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