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New York, NY – (March 18, 2005) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Deb…

New York, NY – (March 18, 2005) – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted for the consortium led by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”), which included Eurazeo and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity (“MLGPE”), on the successful completion of Europe’s largest ever public to private transaction and third largest private equity buyout to date.

The investor group has acquired approximately 98.5% of Rexel SA with a transaction
value of approximately €3.7 billion. Rexel SA is the global leader in the €135
billion market for wholesale distribution of electrical products.

As part of the transaction Pinault-Printemps-Redoute sold its 73.5% stake in Rexel
SA to the investor group on March 16, 2005. An additional 25% was acquired from
minority shareholders through a tender offer that expired on March 11, 2005. The
investment group expects to acquire the remaining shares over the next month and
delist the company.

M&A partner James A. Kiernan headed the Debevoise team. Partners David F. Hickok and
Geoffrey P. Burgess in London and Antoine F. Kirry in Paris, as well as counsel
Jean-Christophe Beaury in Paris and corporate associates Wendy A. Semel, Erin E.
Callahan and Elliott Wiseman in London and Philippe Tengelmann in Paris worked on
the acquisition and the equity arrangements. The financing team was led by partner
David A. Brittenham. Partner Craig A. Bowman and associates Marlies Braun and Jeremy King in London worked on the senior financing. Partners E. Raman Bet-Mansour and Marc Castagnède in Paris and Alan J. Davies in London and associates Stephen C. Hsu and Florent Bouyer in Paris worked on the high-yield offering. The tax team was led by tax partner Peter F.G. Schuur and tax associate Matthew D. Saronson in London.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading international law firm with offices in New
York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Washington, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.