Reuters: Rexel Private Equity Owners Cut Stake to 24 pct

(Reuters) – Rexel controlling shareholder Ray Investment sold a further 10 percent stake in the French electrical equipment supplier in a transaction worth 525.6 million euros ($700 million).

This is the third recent sizeable Rexel stake sale by Ray, which is controlled by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo , Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Caisse des Depots et Consignations du Quebec.

Despite the move to reduce its holding to 24 percent of Rexel’s share capital and voting rights, Ray said on Wednesday that it “intends to remain an active and strongly committed shareholder” and reiterated its support for management.

Ray said it sold the 28.8 million shares at a price of 18.25 euros each, below Tuesday’s closing price of 18.95 euros. The stock, which had risen 23 percent since the start of the year, was 4.6 percent lower at 18.075 euros by 0910 GMT.

Deutsche Bank and UBS acted as placing agents and joint bookrunners on the deal, which Ray said was part of a strategy to actively manage its investments. Rothschild was financial advisor to Ray.

Ray has been steadily reducing its stake in Rexel this year. It disposed of a 14.7 percent chunk in February and shed a further 10 percent in early June.