United Stationers agrees to be acquired by Wingate Partners

United Stationers Inc. said it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to be acquired by Wingate Partners for $258 million in cash and an undermined amount of stock.

If Wingate Partners completes its acquisition of United Stationers, Wingate plans to merge United Stationers in to the operations of its Associated Stationary Inc. subsidiary.

Under the terms of the preliminary acquisition agreement, United Stationers' stockholders will receive $15 a share in cash for 17.2 million shares, or about 92.5% of United Stationers' total shares outstanding. The approximately 1.4 million shares remaining will be traded for an undetermined number of shares that will equal a 19% stake in the new combined 'United/Associated' Stationers, which will be publicly traded. The method of determining which shares will be exchanged hasn't yet been worked out, United Stationers said.

Joel D. Spungin, chairman and chief executive officer of United Stationers, said that "We believe there are a lot of synergies in the companies." He went on to add that combining United Stationers with Associated Stationers, "would be advantageous to both our customers and suppliers."

Mr. Spungin said the acquisition agreement, which still has many details left to be resolved, calls for Thomas Sturgess, chairman and chief executive officer of Associated Stationers, to continue on as chairman of the new combined 'United/Associated' Stationers, while Jeff Hawson, the current president of United Stationers, will become chief executive officer.

On news of the nonbinding acquisition agreement, United Stationers stock surd upwards 7.7% from $13 per share to $14 per share.

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