Private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire French furniture retailer network BUT under a 50:50 partnership with WM Holding.
WM Holding is related to XXXLutz Group, which is a leading furniture retailer in Europe.
Following the consultation process with workers’ council and customary regulatory approvals, the transaction is likely to close in the second half of this year.
If the deal is completed, former Tesco CEO and senior CD&R funds adviser Sir Terry Leahy will assume a senior role, which could include the role of chairman of the board.
CD&R partner David Novak said: "CD&R’s reputation as a trusted partner with capabilities to successfully manage complex transactions has produced a number of compelling investment opportunities for the firm in recent years.
"Our proposed investment in BUT fits into this pattern perfectly and is consistent with our European investment strategy. We look forward to entering into a strategic partnership with XXXLutz to bring fresh operational and strategic insight, and synergies to take the company to the next level of profitable growth."
BUT CEO Frank Maassen said: "We support the project presented by this consortium composed of a leading PE player and a leading European retailer. We believe that this partnership would help accelerate the company’s growth and help its employees to prosper in the future.
"We look forward to working with them as we continue to deliver the quality, value, convenience and selection that our customers have come to expect."
A leading home equipment retailer in France, BUT operates through a network of 303 company and franchisee-owned stores.
Its outlets sell furniture, appliances and decorative accessories, as well as a range of electronics, with financing and extended warranty services.
Last year, BUT posted net revenues of €1.3bn.