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Essendant and S.P. Richards to merge

Wholesalers Essendant and Genuine Parts Company have entered into a definitive agreement to combine Essendant and Genuine Parts Company's S.P. Richards business, which will have combined sales of approximately $7 billion.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Essendant and Genuine Parts Company, is expected to create a stronger, more competitive business products distributor with greater scale and service capabilities and an enhanced ability to support customers.

The companies add that it will bring greater resources to support and partner with the independent dealer channel and resellers in other sales channels, and invest to drive enhanced value for customers, consumers and shareholders.

It will also optimize the product assortment of branded and private-label products across a broad set of categories.

Ric Phillips, Essendant President and Chief Executive Officer, who will lead the combined company, said, "By bringing together two businesses with long histories, complementary product lines and a shared customer-centric approach, we are creating a much stronger, better positioned company. Combining resources, leadership and operational expertise from both teams, and the unique strengths of both businesses will enhance our ability to compete and help our customers succeed in the face of a rapidly evolving market."

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