Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Investor Group Enters Into Definitive Share Purchase Agreement for PPR's 73.5% Rexel Stake

    London and New York (ots/PRNewswire) - Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. (CD&R), in partnership with Eurazeo and  Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity (MLGPE), today announced a definitive  share purchase agreement to acquire Pinault Printemps Redoute's (PPR) 73.5%  equity interest in Rexel SA in a transaction valued at EUR3.7bn.

    The agreement follows the announcement last week that exclusive negotiations had been entered into between CD&R, Eurazeo and MLGPE, and PPR to acquire PPR's equity stake at EUR38.50 per share, subject to regulatory approval. Pursuant to French stock market regulations, and following receipt of regulatory approvals, a mandatory offer will be made to minority shareholders of Rexel in the first quarter of 2005 at the equivalent offer price.

    Upon completion of the transaction CD&R operating partner Roberto Quarta will serve as chairman of the company.

    "Rexel is a global market leader in an attractive industry segment and one in which our firm has had great success," said Mr. Quarta. "We believe the company is well positioned for growth and will benefit from our operating expertise, distribution industry experience and transatlantic presence. We are also pleased to be making this investment with Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, both high quality institutions who share our vision for transforming Rexel into an even better performing company," said Mr. Quarta.

    "We look forward to working with the talented Rexel management team who we have come to know and respect over the past year as we have evaluated this investment," said CD&R financial partner David A. Novak.

    Bruno Deschamps, a CD&R operating partner also involved in the transaction, said, "Rexel is truly a classic CD&R transaction that fits well with our operations-focused strategy and emphasis on building strong businesses."

    CD&R earlier this year completed the US$1.65 billion acquisition of West Chester, PA-based VWR International, a global distributor of laboratory supplies, from Merck KGaA of Germany. In September the firm also closed the US$650 million purchase of Chicago-based Culligan International,  a leading manufacturer and distributor of water treatment products and  bottled water, from Veolia Environnement SA of France. CD&R recently  successfully exited investments in Kinko's, Jafra and SIRVA, and will see  cumulative distributions this year for CD&R Fund V and Fund VI in excess of US$2.5 billion.

    About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

    Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. (CD&R) is a leading private equity investment firm that has earned consistent, superior investment returns using an integrated operational and financial approach to building and growing portfolio businesses. Since its founding in 1978, CD&R has managed the investment of over US$5 billion in 36 businesses - mostly subsidiaries or divisions of large multi-business corporations - representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value in excess of US$20 billion and revenues of more than US$30 billion. The firm has offices  in New York and London. For more information about CD&R, visit

    About Rexel

    Rexel, a subsidiary of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, is the world's leading distributor of electrical equipment and supplies, with a network of 1,700 sales outlets in 29 countries and 21,000 employees. Rexel shares are listed on Euronext Paris (Code ISIN : FR0000125957). Rexel has annual revenues of EUR6.7 billion and approximately 36% of the company's  sales are generated in North America, 28% in France, 27% in the rest of  Europe, and 9% in the rest of the world.

ots Originaltext: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc
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