The Financial Times is reporting that three teams of private equity firms are preparing for possible bids for HD Supply. Teams include: Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice (owner of Rexel); Thomas H Lee Partners, Goldman Sachs and CCMP; and Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group.
Home Depot CEO Frank Blake told analysts and investors at the annual meeting this week that HD has not yet made a decision to sell. The Financial Times reports that the unit could get up to $11 billion.FT says Bain and Carlyle could be naturals for the ownership of HD Supply because of their investments in retail organizations – that said, HD Supply is a wholesale business, with a different operating structure from retail, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Bain and Carlyle’s reported partner, has extensive experience investing in large wholesaler-distributors, including Rexel and lab supply wholesaler VWR International.
Former Wolseley CEO Charlie Banks is an operating partner at CD & R. Leonard Green Partners is also known in the distribution world; it bought White Cap Construction Supply and sold it to Home Depot. FT says that Thomas H Lee Partners and JPMorgan owned National Waterworks, now part of HD Supply.
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