CD&R purchases 42.5% stake in Univar

CVC Capital Partners is selling part of its stake in Univar to CD&R. The firm first invested in the company in 2007 through its Tandem Fund and Fund IV.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has purchased a 42.5 percent stake in specialty chemical distributor Univar from CVC Capital Partners, which has made a partial exit in the company. The remaining equity will be held by Univar management and other existing investors. 
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the transaction values the company at approximately $4.2 billion. 

CVC’s original investment in Univar was made in October 2007 from its Tandem Fund, which closed on $5.4 billion in 2007, and its fourth fund, which closed on $7.2 billion in 2005.

Former chairman and chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company William Stavropoulos will become the non-executive chairman of Univar. John Zillmer will remain president and chief executive officer.

“Over the last several months, there has been significant interest in Univar and its growth prospects from private equity investors,” said partner at CVC Chris Stadler, in a statement.

Univar had revenues of $7.2 billion in 2009. The company operates a network of 179 distribution facilities and distributes more than 11,000 products in over 100 countries.

Univar had filed for an initial public offering of shares of its common stock in June, but that filing has been postponed. The filing did not indicate the amounts to be offered by Univar or CVC, but the company aimed to raise up to $862.5 million, according to numerous media reports.

Nine of CD&R’s last 14 deals have been for distribution businesses. In July, the firm teamed up with GS Capital Partners to purchase Harrington Holdings, a mail order distributor of medical supplies, for $850 million.

Clayton Dubilier & Rice closed its eighth buyout fund on $5 billion in January and has already made several investments from the fund, including the recently announced £390 million buyout of London-based used car dealership BCA.