DES PLAINES, Ill., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Stationers Inc. (Nasdaq: USTR) announced today that its Lagasse, Inc. subsidiary completed the purchase of the stock of Sweet Paper Corp. and substantially all of the assets of Sweet Paper Group, a privately-held wholesale distributor of janitorial/sanitation, paper, and foodservice products, in a cash transaction. The Sweet Paper companies generate combined annual sales of approximately $250 million and are headquartered in Hialeah, Florida. Acquisition Complements and Expands Lagasse Product Line "We are excited to have completed this important acquisition, which will enable us to expand the Lagasse product line, and enhance our scale and infrastructure in key markets that include the Southeast, California, Texas and Massachusetts," said Richard W. Gochnauer, president and chief executive officer of United Stationers. "Sweet Paper brings experienced management and personnel, valuable relationships, and new capabilities to our already strong janitorial/sanitation operation." "We are extremely pleased to welcome the Sweet Paper associates to the Lagasse and United Stationers' teams," added Gochnauer. "Together, we look forward to providing all of our existing and new customers with enhanced product and service offerings." "The merger of Lagasse and Sweet Paper represents an important step in our strategic planning process. We believe this acquisition will be accretive to earnings in 2006 and will position us for continued growth and success in this category," concluded Gochnauer. Targeted Geographic Expansion Continues "The acquisition of Sweet Paper provides 10 additional distribution facilities to augment the 24 facilities in Lagasse's nationwide network," explained Steve Schultz, president of Lagasse. "We anticipate that our combined operations will allow us to become more efficient, to improve our service, and to expand our reach, our customer base and the channels we serve." Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements, including references to goals, plans, strategies, objectives, anticipated future performance, results or events and other statements that are not strictly historical in nature. These statements are based on management's current expectations, forecasts and assumptions. This means they involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied here. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: United's ability to integrate its acquisition of the Sweet Paper businesses and to realize the synergies and benefits anticipated from this transaction; United's ability to effectively manage its operations and to implement general cost-reduction and margin- enhancement initiatives; United's ability to successfully procure and implement new information technology (IT) packages and systems, integrating them with and/or migrating from existing IT systems and platforms without business disruption or other unanticipated difficulties or costs; United's ability to effectively integrate past and future acquisitions into its management, operations, financial and technology systems; United's timely and efficient implementation of improved internal controls in response to conditions previously or subsequently identified at its Canadian division or elsewhere, in order to maintain an effective internal control environment in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the conduct and scope of the SEC's informal inquiry relating to United's Canadian division or any formal investigation that may arise from this, and the ultimate resolution of any inquiry or investigation; the outcome of, and any costs associated with the defense of legal proceedings pending against the company; United's reliance on key suppliers and the impact of variability in their pricing, allowance programs and other terms, conditions and policies, such as those relating to geographic or product sourcing limitations, price protection terms and return rights; variability in supplier allowances and promotional incentives payable to the company, based on inventory purchase volumes, attainment of supplier- established growth hurdles, and supplier participation in the company's annual and quarterly catalogs and other marketing programs, and the impact of these supplier allowances and promotional incentives on the company's gross margins; United's reliance on key customers, and the business, credit and other risks inherent in continuing or increased customer concentration; continuing or increasing competitive activity and pricing pressures within existing or expanded product categories; increases in customers' purchases directly from product manufacturers; United's ability to anticipate and respond to changes in end-user demand and to effectively manage levels of any excess or obsolete inventory; the impact of variability in customer demand on United's product offerings and sales mix and, in turn, on customer rebates payable, and supplier allowances earned, by the company and on United's gross margin; reliance on key management personnel, both in day-to-day operations and in execution of new business initiatives; uncertainties related to any new regulations applicable to the company, including any new rulemaking by the SEC; acts of terrorism or war; and prevailing economic conditions and changes affecting the business products industry and the general economy. About Lagasse Lagasse, Inc. is a leading wholesale source for over 10,000 janitorial and sanitary maintenance products. Through its nationwide network of 24 distribution centers, Lagasse serves distributor customers from the janitorial and sanitation maintenance industry, including distributors focused on the paper, industrial, food service, safety, material handling and healthcare channels. Lagasse is recognized in the marketplace as a distribution partner, providing integrated fulfillment, sales support and value-added marketing solutions to its customers. About United Stationers United Stationers Inc., with 2004 sales of $4.0 billion, is North America's largest broad line wholesale distributor of business products. Its integrated computer-based distribution systems make more than 40,000 items available to approximately 15,000 resellers. United is able to ship products within 24 hours of order placement because of its 35 United Stationers Supply Co. distribution centers, 24 Lagasse distribution centers that serve the janitorial and sanitation industry, two Azerty distribution centers in Mexico that serve computer supply resellers, and two distribution centers that serve the Canadian marketplace. Its focus on fulfillment excellence has given the company an average order fill rate of better than 97%, a 99.5% order accuracy rate, and a 99% on-time delivery rate. For more information, visit http://www.unitedstationers.com . The company's common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market(R) under the symbol USTR.
SOURCE United Stationers Inc.