Wendel Consortium completes Legrand deal

Equity for the E3.7bn acquisition of Legrand is provided by a group of sponsors led by KKR and Wendel and including HSBC, West LB and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

The long-running saga over ownership of electronics manufacturer Legrand has finally come to an end following the announcement that the Wendel Consortium has completed the acquisition of the French company in a E3.7bn transaction.


French investment group Wendel Investissement and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are the lead investors, each providing E658m to the E1.76bn equity tranche of the transaction. The pair has been joined by a consortium of investors comprising West LB, which contributes E200m of equity, HSBC Private Equity (E115m), Goldman Sachs Capital Partners (E100m) and the Verspieren and Decoster families, the founders of Legrand, who are investing E29m.


Debt funding for the deal totals E2.4bn, which includes E1.8bn in senior bank debt and E600m of mezzanine debt. In keeping with a trend seen in many of Europe’s largest transactions this year, Schneider Electric is providing the buyers with a E150m vendor loan.


The transaction is being co-ordinated by mandated lead arrangers and joint bookrunners Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and Royal Bank of Scotland. Also participating are SG, Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole Indosuez. The debt funding comprises E2.2bn senior secured credit facilities, a short-term E100m cash bridge facility and a E600m subordinated mezzanine bridge loan facility for the transaction.


Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Legrand chairman Francois Grapotte, who will remain with the company, said that the likelihood was for a public listing of the firm within the next five years. 'We are sticking with a plan to relist Legrand on the Paris bourse within three to five years.'