Anicom Liquidating, Sells Canadian Operations

Cabling-product distributor Anicom Inc. (Rosemont, IL) has given up its fight for survival, planning to file for bankruptcy protection and sell or liquidate its remaining operations.

Cabling-product distributor Anicom Inc. (Rosemont, IL) has given up its fight for survival, planning to file for bankruptcy protection and sell or liquidate its remaining operations. The organization has already begun the sell-off, recently reaching an agreement to sell its Canadian assets and operations to Tricontinental Communications Ltd. of Vancouver. The agreement was announced on December 22, and the parties expected the sale to close the week of December 24. There was no confirmation as of January 4 that the deal had, in fact, closed. Anicom operates 15 locations in Canada and 45 in the United States.

The sale represents a homecoming of sorts for Tricontinental, as Anicom purchased most of its existing Canadian operations from Texcan Inc., a Tricontinental subsidiary, in 1998.

Tricontinental owner Ron Stern said he expects the business to succeed with "an adequate infusion of capital."

Anicom has suffered since July, when it announced it was investigating accounting procedures and possible accounting irregularities. At that time, company president and chief executive officer Carl E. Putnam, and chief financial officer Donald C. Welchko took administrative leave. The two resigned in early September.

Anicom never recovered. While announcing the Tricontinental deal, Anicom chairman and interim CEO Thomas Reiman said, "We made every effort to refinance our credit facility, which expired in December 15. However ... it had become clear that we would not be able to obtain the long-term financing necessary to execute our business plan.

"We are continuing to plan with our lenders for the sale or liquidation of our remaining operations," he also said. "As soon as those plans are finalized, we anticipate filing a petition for relief under the bankruptcy code."

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