Private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has confirmed that it has entered into discussions with WM Holding to secure a 50:50 partnership with the acquisition of French furniture retailer BUT.

CD&R, which houses B & M Retail under its umbrella, and WM Holding, a company related to the XXXLutz Group - one of Europe's three largest furniture retailers, hope to have the deal concluded by the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.

If the deal is completed, it is also expected that former Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, currently senior advisor to CD&R funds, would take a senior position within the BUT Group.

David Novak, CD&R Partner, commented: “Our proposed investment in BUT fits into this pattern perfectly and is consistent with our European investment strategy. We look forward to entering into a strategic partnership with XXXLutz to bring fresh operational and strategic insight, and synergies to take the company to the next level of profitable growth."

Frank Maassen, CEO of BUT, added: "We believe that this partnership would help accelerate the Company's growth and help its employees to prosper in the future. We look forward to working with them as we continue to deliver the quality, value, convenience and selection that our customers have come to expect."

BUT offers a variety of furniture products, as well as electronics, through a network of 303 company and franchisee-owned stores. BUT generated a net revenue of €1.3bn in 2015.