The London office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is advising Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) in the financing aspects of its announced exclusive discussions for the acquisition of BUT, the largest furniture retailer network in France. The proposed acquisition is structured as a 50:50 partnership between CD&R-managed funds and WM Holding, a company related to the XXXLutz Group, one of Europe’s three largest furniture retailers. Subject to the information and consultation process with the competent workers’ council and customary regulatory approvals, the transaction would be expected to close in the second half of 2016.
BUT is one of the leading home equipment retailers in France, operating through a network of 303 company and franchisee-owned stores. In 2015, BUT generated net revenue of €1.3 billion.
Founded in 1978, CD&R invests in European and U.S.-based businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of $21 billion in 66 companies representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $100 billion. CD&R has invested in value-oriented European retail businesses, including B&M European Value Retail (LSE: BME) and Motor Fuel Group. The firm has also invested in market-leading French businesses, including SPIE and Rexel.
The Debevoise team advising CD&R on the financing aspects of the proposed acquisition was led by London partners Pierre Maugüé and Thomas Smith, and included London finance partner Alan J. Davies, international counsel Philippe Tengelmann and associates Nathalie Henderson-Stewart, Vikas Mehta, Andrew Rearick and Brad Taylor. Tax advice was provided by London partner Matthew D. Saronson and international counsel Cécile Beurrier.
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