PPR has announced that it is entering into exclusive negotiations with the consortium formed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Private Equity for the sale of its full interest in the share capital of Rexel.

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The consortium’s offer underscores its members’ confidence in the significant growth potential of Rexel, whose strategic initiatives and effective reorganization, spearheaded by the management team over the past two years, has resulted in sharply improved financial performance.

This offer is relative to the full interest held by the PPR Group in the share capital of Rexel, or 73.45%, and is based on a firm price of € 38.50 per Rexel share, dividend included. Minority shareholders should be offered the same guaranteed price through a mandatory tender offer (“garantie de cours”).

Rexel is the world’s largest electrical specialist. It has significant presence in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Australia through its electrical wholesaling outlets, as well being the parent of Rexel Security, the local distributor of Panasonic CCTV equipment.

It’s not likely a change of ownership would have significant short term impact on the company’s Australian operations.