Pinault Printemps Redoute said it has finalized a deal to sell its 73.45 percent stake in Rexel to a consortium formed by three investment groups: Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (CDR), New York; Eurazeo, a French investment firm; and Merrill Lynch Private Equity, New York. The deal is expected to close in first-quarter 2005.

In November, the luxury goods and retailing group said it wanted to focus on luxury goods instead of electrical products so it entered exclusive talks with the consortium.

Internationally, Rexel SA has 1,700 branches, 21,300 employees and approximately $8.2 billion in annual sales. The company's U.S. division has 280 locations, 4,400 employees and 2003 sales of $1.9 billion.