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David’s Bridal sold for $1.05 billion

NEW YORK — Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC, the private equity firm that exited Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. this year, agreed to buy David’s Bridal Inc. for $1.05 billion, gaining the largest low-end wedding-gown retailer in the United States.

Leonard Green & Partners, also a private equity investor, will continue as a minority partner, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. No additional terms of the transaction were disclosed.

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David’s Bridal, which Leonard Green and TPG Growth bought five years ago in a deal valued at about $750 million, has the most recognized name in its industry in the United States, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The Conshohocken, Pa.-based 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 and higher, 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 in the July 11 note. “With fewer marriages and less money spent on weddings in the US, the narrow business focus and geographic concentration may impede the company’s growth potential.”

David’s Bridal, which has 300 stores in North America, has an exclusive partnership with Vera Wang, under the brand White by Vera Wang, and has been working to increase its designer offerings. Paul Pressler, a Clayton Dubilier & Rice operating partner and Gap Inc.’s former chief executive officer, will become chairman when the deal closes.

Clayton Dubilier, founded in 1978, has managed investments of more than $18 billion in 52 US and European businesses.

Leonard Green and TPG bought David’s Bridal from Federated Department Stores Inc. in 2007. TPG Growth is part of TPG Capital, the ­private-equity firm run by ­David Bonderman and James Coulter.

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