Currency fluctuation cuts Abacus price by 20 percent -

Currency fluctuation cuts Abacus price by 20 percent

LONDON — Avnet Inc.'s offer, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Electron House (Overseas) Ltd., for Abacus Group plc has been declared unconditional.

As had been previously announced, all shareholders of Abacus will receive £0.55 per share, which equates to an equity value of approximately £42.2 million (about $61.0 million) and a transaction value of £97.9 million ($141.6 million) assuming a net debt position for Abacus of £55.7 million ($80.6 million) as of September 30, 2008.

The purchase price has declined approximately 20 percent as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the British pound since the transaction was initially announced on October 10, 2008.

Abacus is a distributor of electronic components and embedded systems serving customers in 10 countries across Europe. It will be integrated into Avnet’s European Electronics Marketing business.

“The acquisition of Abacus represents an excellent strategic fit to our current business as their focus on strong technical support delivered to a diverse base of small to mid-size customers should create significant cross-selling opportunities for us,” said Harley Feldberg, global president of Avnet Electronics Marketing. “It doubles our IP&E business across the region, significantly improves our market position in the U.K. and establishes Avnet as a leading distributor of embedded solutions and displays throughout Europe.”

For the financial year ended Sept. 30, 2008, Abacus had total sales of £279 million and EBITDA of £12 million before unusual items.

Patrick Zammit, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA, added, “As we develop our integration plan we are impressed with the caliber of Abacus’ organization and are excited about potential growth opportunities once the integration is complete.”

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