Electra snaps up three Rexel units

Electra Partners has paid E112m for three French units of Rexel, supported by a E16m vendor loan from parent-company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.

Mid-market private equity firm Electra Partners, which is currently investing a E1bn European buyout fund, has made further inroads in the continental European buyout market with the E112m acquisition of the security business of Rexel, an electrical parts and supplies maker owned by French group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR).


Following last month’s £70m acquisition of Ashbourne Care Homes, Electra has agreed with PPR to pay E96m for three security units of Rexel – Gardiner Group, Stentorius and JLD – with PPR providing a E16m vendor loan note, giving the deal a total value of E112m.


Electra approached Rexel over a possible sale of its security units at the beginning of the year. Natexis Banques Populaires provided debt finance for the transaction.


The deal is the first transaction to originate from Electra’s Paris office, which is headed by Jean Ducroux.


The assets Electra has bought will continue to be run by the management team led of Gardiner, which is led by Jean-François Gazielly. Electra plans to grow the business through “carefully targeted” acquisitions, as well as expanding the company’s product lines. Ducroux said in a statement: “The business has a market leading position in an expanding market and is perfectly poised to lead industry consolidation.”


The sale is part of PPR’s strategy, announced in January, to dispose of the majority of its business-to-business divisions by the end of 2004 in favour of a focus on luxury goods. Last month, it sold Pinault Bois Matériaux to UK buildings materials business Wolseley for E565m, just weeks after it agreed to sell its office supplies division of Guilbert to Office Depot.