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As part of an effort to strengthen its retail empire, Atlanta, Ga.-based home improvement chain Home Depot agreed to sell its HD Supply Unit on June 19 to a consortium of Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $10.3 billion. The unit, which specializes in wholesale distribution, was first organized in 2000, under the leadership of Home Depot's ousted CEO Robert L. Nardelli, to increase the retailer's reach and savings on bulk purchases of home building materials.

Home Depot's board of directors had been reviewing the Supply Unit's operations since February and considered selling the unit piece by piece and performing an IPO. The board plans to use $9.5 billion from the sale proceeds to fund a $22.5 billion share repurchase program. The sale is scheduled to close in the third quarter of 2007.

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