Singapore firm buys Lawrence-based Black Box

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

Cecil Township-based Black Box Corp. is being acquired by a Singapore-based company.

AGC Networks Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of global solutions integrator AGC Networks, is acquiring all outstanding shares of Black Box. It is doing so for $1.08 per share in cash, subject to regulatory approvals, the Washington County firm announced in a news release on its website.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, according to the release.

Black Box, a leading global technology solutions provider located in Lawrence, has had a financially tumultuous 2018. The firm appeared to be facing bankruptcy when, in a June 29 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said it had about $24 million in cash and $155.7 million in borrowings outstanding, “which raises a substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a concern beyond” December 2018.

Two weeks after the filing, Black Box Corp. appeared to get a major boost when it was awarded a $10 million contract for a 1-million-square-foot data center another company was building in Ohio. Speculation at the time, and which has not been confirmed, is that the partner was Facebook.

Now, this merger is taking place. The deal, according to the news release, is expected to expand AGC’s presence in North America and around the world. AGC is expected to add more than $600 million in annual revenue and about 3,000 employees.

Joel Trammell, Black Box’s chief executive officer, said in a statement: “We were looking for a partner that could provide us with the resources to grow our services and products businesses in a way that benefited clients and employees.

“As we visited in depth with the AGC team, it became obvious that the fit was very strong and that the combination would make our company more exceptional.”