CD&R pulls trigger on Drive

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

NEW YORK – Clayton, Dubilier & Rice will make a “significant equity investment” in Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, the companies announced today.

CD&R will make the investment, “alongside existing management,” according to a press release.

“We intend to play a constructive role by supporting a very talented management team as it continues to grow the business organically and through acquisitions,” said Richard Schnall, a partner at CD&R.

As part of the investment, CD&R has lined up financing from a number of banks: Barclays, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Citigroup Global Markets, Capital One, National Association and HSBC Securities.

CD&R, which owned AssuraMed before selling it to Cardinal Health for $2.1 billion in 2013, had been rumored to be in talks to buy Drive.

Drive acknowledged to its customers in an Aug. 12 letter that it sought additional equity capital to continue its growth strategy. It said a change in ownership would have no effect on customers.

Previously, Ferrer Freeman & Co., another New York-based private equity firm, was a minority stakeholder in Drive.

Since 2002, Drive has made 25 acquisitions that have expanded its product portfolio, its geographic reach and its manufacturing capabilities. Last year, it made the “transformative” acquisition of DeVilbiss Healthcare, giving it a stronger foothold in the fast-growing respiratory market.