Building Businesses

    CD&R works to make companies grow and prosper. Often we partner with families, founders, or corporate owners. The vast majority of the value we create results from strong collaborations with management to spur operational performance improvements by accelerating growth strategies, injecting new talent, and boosting productivity. The Firm stands on a reputation for problem-solving, managing complex transactions, and always doing what we say we will do. 

    An Introduction to CD&R

    • Partnership

      Since 1978, boards, CEOs, family owners, and entrepreneurs have turned to CD&R as their trusted partner to help businesses grow profitably. 

    • Teamwork

      Blending investment insights with industry operating experience, we seek strong working relationships with management.

    • Values

      Our values—candor, courage, creativity, integrity, loyalty, passion, perseverance, respect, and teamwork—inform all of our endeavors. We aspire to always be great partners who add value.


    Pioneering Investors

    Photo of Joe Rice and Martin Dubilier. Captioned: Joe Rice and Martin Dubilier, 1990

    Private Investment Pioneers

    Photo of Joe Rice and Martin Dubilier. Captioned: Joe Rice and Martin Dubilier, 1990

    In June 1978, four individuals launched Clayton, Dubilier & Rice with a unique investment style, strategy, and improbable combination of temperaments, skills, and talents. As Joe Rice recalls, “In many respects, it wasn’t really a business but a personal effort by a close-knit group, which wasn’t exactly sure where it was headed, but shared a sense of common values and a conviction that combining operating and financial skills would produce better investment results.”

    From its first day in business, CD&R pursued what the 1995 Harvard Business Review article, “Rehabilitating the Leveraged Buyout,” called “the operating LBO,” as opposed to the “traditional pure-finance LBO.”

    Photo of Lexmark building. Captioned: In 1991, IBM selected CD&R to carve out its printer and supplies business, which became Lexmark

    Catalysts for Corporate Renewal

    Photo of Lexmark building. Captioned: In 1991, IBM selected CD&R to carve out its printer and supplies business, which became Lexmark

    Over the next four decades, CD&R's reputation as a business builder grew. The Firm tackled complex divestitures and became known as a problem solver working alongside management teams and family owners to help businesses achieve their full potential.

    In 1983, the Firm acquired Harris Graphics in what was, at the time, the largest ever corporate divestiture accomplished through a private equity structure. In 1985, the Firm established its reputation for being a constructive partner to corporations by acting as a “white knight,” helping Uniroyal fend off a hostile activist investor. In 1991, IBM selected CD&R to carve out its printer and supplies business lines, which became Lexmark *.

    CD&R's London office with photo cut-in of previous London office. Captioned: London,1999

    Building Capabilities; Expanding Reach

    CD&R's London office with photo cut-in of previous London office. Captioned: London,1999

    In the early 2000s, CD&R further expanded its operating resources, global footprint, and depth of industry experience. 

    CD&R funds engaged GE's legendary former chief executive Jack Welch in 2001. Later, Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, and Jim McNerney, former CEO of Boeing, became CD&R Senior Advisors *.  Over the years, CD&R and its funds have attracted industry luminaries across consumer/retail, healthcare, industrial, and technology/business services sectors from such companies as BBA, Boeing, Danaher, Disney, Emerson Electric, GAP, GE, IBM, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Unilever, and many others. Many of these executives joined the Firm's London office, which opened in 1998, as CD&R built up its European capabilities and track record. 

    CD&R logo composed of a mosaic of CD&R team member photos

    CD&R Today

    CD&R logo composed of a mosaic of CD&R team member photos

    CD&R continues to partner with corporations, families, and other ownership groups on innovative transactions that provide full or partial liquidity, as well as strategic solutions and operating value addition. Whether a dip in capital markets, a large corporation refocusing its portfolio, or a family seeking to transition to institutional or public ownership, CD&R’s seller-friendly investment approach, which relies on creating value over the long term, is as relevant today as it was when the Firm first opened its doors.


    The Way We Add Value

    CD&R strives to enhance the value of each business it acquires by implementing a combination of long-term growth, productivity, capital efficiency, and strategic measures.

    A critical element of investment success is reward-sharing, which is why we emphasize incentives that support alignment, including substantial equity ownership for our portfolio company management teams.

    Ron Williams: The Way We Add Value


    Partnership Investing

    Worker in lab coat walking in front of storage tanks

    Win-Win Orientation

    Partnerships are based on shared benefits. That's why we strive to play a constructive role in every transaction - no matter how complex - by providing strategic capital, capabilities, and insights to grow the companies in which we invest.

    Two workers pointing up at scaffolding

    Strategic and Operational Support

    We support our management team partners to enhance strategic planning processes, improve productivity and product quality, enhance customer relationships, implement growth initiatives, and, importantly, build cultures where performance is recognized and rewarded.

    Man in office pointing at paper notes

    Innovation and Vision

    CD&R’s investments often demand significant and sustained efforts to innovate across critical facets – from product lines and business processes to business partnerships and employee engagement. We support business cultures based on a commitment to continuous improvement.

    SPIE worker in hardhat climbing a ladder

    We Keep Our Promises

    We believe integrity is the fundamental principle upon which successful enterprises are built. We recognize the importance of delivering on promises made and not compromising long-term success for short-term gains.


    Our Investors

    We manage capital on behalf of institutions and individuals worldwide. Our relationships with limited partners, which include prominent university endowments, foundations, public pension funds, corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, and family offices, are guided by an unwavering commitment to alignment and transparency.

    Investors by Type

            Pie chart showing Investors by Type. Sections include: Insurance Companies (12.51%), Public Pensions (19.04%), Sovereign Funds(19.31%), Fund of Funds(8.98%), Corporate Pensions(5.45%), High Net Worth and Family Offices (23.01%), Foundations and Endowments (11.69%).

    Investors by Geography

            Pie chart showing Investors by Geography. Sections include: North America (43.36%), Asia (20.67%), Europe [excluding U.K.] (15.51%), U.K. (4.68%), Middle East (11.04%), and Latin America (4.74%).

    Figures based on LP capital commitments at the final close of CD&R's most recent main fund.


    Engineering for the Future

    CD&R’s pursuit of operational excellence encompasses a range of growth and margin expansion activities, including innovation initiatives that are critical to accelerating performance improvement. Across the portfolio, our businesses are applying digital tools and advanced analytics to step change commercial and operational processes to promote growth, productivity and quality.

    Stephen Shapiro: Engineering for the Future

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