Hagemeyer NV said in late November it agreed to be taken over by French peer Rexel in a deal valuing the Dutch electrical-distribution company at €3.1 billion ($4.6 billion), as reported inThe Wall Street Journal.Hagemeyer had considered remaining independent a priority. But with a dubious economic outlook for 2008 and the construction crisis no longer restricted to the residential market in the U.S., the company said the offer from Rexel made the most sense, and called the price “fair.”

The offer was unanimously recommended by the management board and supervisory board of Hagemeyer, and unanimously approved by the boards of Rexel and family-owned French electrical distributor Sonepar, the companies said.

The announcement confirmed that following the completion of the deal, Hagemeyer’s American, Asian-Pacific and selected European activities will be sold on to Sonepar in a €€1.6 billion deal.

At press time, analysts were convinced that Rexel would succeed in acquiring Hagemeyer, according to The Wall Street Journal. Providing the antitrust review process is completed, the transaction is due to close in the first quarter of 2008.