Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. (CD&R), a global private equity firm, in partnership with Eurazeo, a French investment firm, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, has successfully completed the acquisition of approximately 98.5 percent of Rexel SA, the world’s largest electrical distributor. The firms purchased Rexel for approximately 3.7 billion. The acquisition represents the third largest private equity buyout in Europe to date.
As part of the transaction, Pinault Printemps Redoute (PPR), the previous owner of Rexel, sold its 73.5 percent equity interest in Rexel SA to the investor group, following which an additional 25 percent was acquired from minority shareholders through a tender offer that expired March 11. The investment group now owns approximately 98.5 percent of Rexel and expects to acquire the remaining shares over the next month and delist the company.
“Rexel is a classic investment for us and one where we believe our previous distribution industry experience will prove useful to the Rexel management team as they continue to grow the business globally,” said Roberto Quarta, CD&R operating partner who will serve as chairman of Rexel. “From the initial sourcing of the transaction to the due diligence and development of a strong business plan, we have worked closely with our investor partners and Rexel management to achieve a strong start in taking this business to the next level of profitable growth.”
“With the support of a strong and committed group of investors focused solely on what is beneficial for Rexel’s business, under the leadership of a strong management team, we believe the company is well positioned to gain market share,” said David Novak, a CD&R partner who will serve on Rexel’s board of directors.”