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Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to buy David’s Bridal

Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is buying David’s Bridal Inc. in a deal that values the private company at about $1.05 billion.

Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, which bought the retailer in 2006, will remain a minority partner in the company.

David’s Bridal produces and sells bridal and special-occasion apparel and accessories through a network of more than 300 stores in North America.

Paul Pressler, a Clayton, Dubilier & Rice operating partner and a former Gap Inc. chief executive, will become the company’s chairman. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

David’s Bridal has the most recognized name in its industry in the U.S., according to Standard & Poor’s. The Conshohocken, Pa. company has more than half of the market share in the $600-and-under bridal gown market, and a “much lower” share in prices above $800, Brian Milligan, an S&P; analyst, wrote in a note last month.

“The company will likely continue to pursue growth through additional wedding-related services and through international expansion,” Milligan wrote. “With fewer marriages and less money spent on weddings in the U.S., the narrow business focus and geographic concentration may impede the company’s growth potential.”

David’s Bridal has an exclusive partnership with designer Vera Wang, under the brand White by Vera Wang, and has been working to increase its designer offerings.


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