* Shares placed at 16 euros each
* Total proceeds about 640 mln eur - Eurazeo
PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Rexel controlling shareholder Ray Investment said it sold 14.7 percent of the French electrical materials supplier via an accelerated bookbuilding to institutional investors amid strong demand.
Ray Investment placed the 40 million shares, more than the 12.9 percent it planned to sell, at 16 euros each, it said in a statement on Thursday. Rexel shares - up about 16.5 percent in the last three months - were trading 0.4 percent higher at 16.50 euros by 1128 GMT.
The proceeds of about 640 million euros ($860 million) will be distributed to funds controlled by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Eurazeo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Caisse des Depots et Consignations du Quebec.
French investment group Eurazeo, a Ray Investment shareholder since 2005, said its share of the proceeds would be about 225 million euros.
Ray Investment said it remained Rexel's main shareholder with approximately 43.3 percent of its share capital and voting rights.
"Ray Investment intends to remain an active and strongly committed shareholder of Rexel, and reiterates its support to Rudy Provoost, CEO of the company, and its management team to efficiently implement Rexel's growth strategy and reach its 2015 targets," Ray Investment said.
The placing was managed by Deutsche Bank and UBS through an accelerated bookbuilding with institutional investors. Rothschild acted as financial adviser to Ray Investment.
Rexel posted a rise in 2012 sales and operating margin on Tuesday, despite challenging market conditions, and raised its dividend on 2012 earnings by 15 percent.