Clayton, Dubilier & Rice completes buy of Culligan from Veolia

The global private equity firm wrapped up the purchase of Culligan International, the leading global provider of water treatment products and services, from Veolia Environnement SA of France. The purchase price was $610 million, including $200 million of equity from a CD&R-managed fund and the remainder comprised of a combination of senior debt and high yield securities...

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2004 (PRNewswire) -- Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. (CD&R), a global private equity firm, today announced that it wrapped up the purchase of Culligan International, the leading global provider of water treatment products and services, from Veolia Environnement SA of France. The purchase price was $610 million, including $200 million of equity from a CD&R-managed fund and the remainder comprised of a combination of senior debt and high yield securities.

Culligan, the most recognized brand in the water treatment industry, is a leading global provider of water treatment products and services for household and commercial applications. The company has cultivated a reputation based on service, quality and water expertise over its nearly 70 years of industry leadership. For the 12 months ended June 30, the company had sales $718 million. Based in Northbrook, Ill., Culligan has 5,500 employees worldwide, and a network of nearly 900 company owned and franchised dealerships in North America and Western Europe.

"Culligan will benefit from our past experience in building service companies into larger and more dynamic businesses," said David H. Wasserman, a CD&R partner involved in the transaction.

This is CD&R's second acquisition in 2004 of a division of a European-based parent with significant North American operations. It follows CD&R's $1.65 billion acquisition earlier this year of VWR International, a global distributor of laboratory supplies from Merck KGaA of Germany. Also in 2004, CD&R sold Kinko's to FedEx Corporation, Jafra Cosmetics to Vorwerk & Co. KG and completed a successful secondary offering of a portion of its fund's ownership interest in SIRVA, the Chicago-based global relocation services company.

"Our hands-on operational approach is particularly well suited to tackling complex business situations and helping to redefine a company's position in the marketplace," said George W. Tamke, an operating partner of CD&R and chairman of Culligan. "Culligan has an outstanding dealer network, a great brand and strong management that we can leverage to create new growth opportunities."

"We will draw upon our experience with manufacturing and distribution companies to accelerate Culligan's growth," said Mr. Wasserman. "A key focus will be to partner with our global network of dealers to implement the right initiatives and grow the business internationally."

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. (www.cdr-inc.com) is a leading private equity investment firm that has earned consistent, superior investment returns using an integrated operational and financial approach to building and growing portfolio businesses. Since its founding in 1978, CD&R has managed the investment of over $5 billion in 36 businesses -- mostly subsidiaries or divisions of large multi-business corporations -- representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value in excess of $20 billion and revenues of more than $27 billion. The firm has offices in New York and London.

About Culligan
Among the most widely recognized brand names in America, Culligan (www.culligan.com) has been manufacturing and distributing water treatment products and bottled water for household and commercial use worldwide since 1936, and entered the air purification market in 2003. Culligan's network of dealerships and licensees worldwide is committed to delivering superior customer satisfaction and expertise.

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