Controlling owners of Rexel said to sell portion of shares

Ray Investment, a conglomerate of four companies that together own the majority of shares in Rexel SA of France, is believed to have sold 30 million shares of Rexel out of a much bigger holding to the public in a secondary offering.

According to Reuters, shares sold equate to 11.2% of all shares in Rexel SA.

After the sale, Ray Investment would reportedly still own a controlling interest—59.6% of Rexel SA. This would take the amount of Rexel traded on the Paris exchange from 26.8% to roughly 38%.

Above: From the “Document de reference” recently posted to Rexel.com. It detailed who owned Rexel SA before the recent transfer to the public of 11.2% of the company’s shares from the controlling shareholders (Ray Investment).

There are now four companies that together “own” the controlling interest in Rexel SA:

  • Eurazeo, a European investment fund in which one can buy shares.
  • Clayton Dubilier & Rice, an investment firm that once owned WESCO, and now is a part of the controlling partners (who together own 87.5%) of HD Supply.
  • Merrill Lynch, which is now owned by Bank of America.

The fourth partner, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, is described as “Canada’s largest pension fund manager.” According to the graphic above, as of 2011’s end, it owned 9.95% of Ray Investment. If it has maintained that share of the company that controls Rexel, the Quebec pension management firm can be credited with almost 6% of Rexel SA’s outstanding shares (i.e., 9.95% of 59.6%).

Separately, The Deal Pipeline reported on last month that the 2012 sale of shares would allow Ray Investment to recoup “about a fourth of the 1.648B euro in equity it investment in December 2004 to take Rexel private.”

Additionally, the investors in Ray “have received $144.3M in cash-and-stock dividends since 2007.”

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