3i invests for a minority share in Refresco

25 Mar 2010
  • New equity investment enables Refresco to implement further growth plans
  • Existing shareholders maintain interests and remain committed to Refresco’s strategy

Dordrecht/Amsterdam, 25 March 2010: The owners of Refresco, a European market leader in the production of private label fruit juices and soft drinks, and 3i, the international private equity company, have agreed for 3i to acquire newly issued Refresco shares, representing a 20% stake in the total share capital of Refresco. The total value of the capital injection amounts to €84 million and will be fully utilized to realize further growth of Refresco. The existing shareholders, an Icelandic consortium of investors led by Stodir, and the management of Refresco, maintain their shareholdings and fully support the transaction. Refresco has created a European manufacturing platform for non-alcoholic beverages and operates 19 production sites in 8 European countries. Refresco´s “buy-and-build” growth strategy aims at further expanding and strengthening Refresco´s market-leading position on the European market, through acquisitions and organic growth.

This marks the second time that 3i invests in Refresco, having supported a management buyout in 2003. After a period of active management, geographic expansion and significant profitable growth for the Company, 3i generated an excellent return on its investment when 3i’s Refresco stake was divested in April 2006. Stodir led the buyout of Refresco in April 2006 with Kaupthing Bank and Vifilfell, backing the management team in a strategy that combined acquisition-based growth with capital investment for organic growth. Revenues and profits have doubled during the last three years, and total turnover amounted to €1.2 billion in 2009. After the new capital investment, the Icelandic consortium of investors holds a 62% share of Refresco.

Hans Roelofs, CEO of Refresco: “We are very excited by the capital injection and the re-entry of 3i. Refresco is a fast growing company with ambitious plans for the future. Through our “buy-and-build“ strategy we can now further extend our presence in the European market through acquisitions as well as by internal growth. We know that 3i is a reliable and dedicated partner who will support us in achieving our goals.”

Pieter de Jong, Director 3i, Benelux: “3i’s investment in Refresco provides an excellent opportunity to back a clear European market leader to fulfill its growth potential. Our advanced knowledge of the business, combined with an excellent working relationship with a world-class management team, presents exactly the kind of active partnership which 3i’s Growth Capital team is attracted to. The Icelandic shareholders have done a fantastic job supporting and financing the growth of Refresco, and further professionalising the organisation. 3i’s minority interest in Refresco is fully aligned with the company and all shareholders.”

Jon Sigurdsson, CEO of Stodir: “We certainly welcome 3i into Refresco´s group of shareholders, as we believe 3i is an excellent strategic partner with an outstanding track record and high credibility. The transaction confirms the strong performance of Refresco in the recent years, and enables us to further pursue Refresco´s growth strategy. Stodir, Kaupthing and Vifilfell remain supportive majority shareholders of Refresco and with a new, strong partner on board, we have put Refresco in a good position to continue the successful “buy-andbuild” strategy in the years ahead, thus creating even more value for all shareholders.”

Notes to editors

About Refresco:
Refresco is European market leader of fruit juice and soft drink production for retail private label and leading in contract manufacturing for international A-brands. Since the establishment in 2000, the company has grown to 19 production sites in 8 countries across Europe with more than 2,200 employees. In 2009 Refresco realized a turnover of €1.2 billion. Refresco is building a European platform of manufacturers of fruit juices and soft drinks. Refresco Holding is located in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. www.refresco.com

About Stodir:
Stodir is an investment company, based in Reykjavik, Iceland. Among Stodir´s investments are the Icelandic insurance company Tryggingamidstodin, which is fully owned by Stodir, a 40% stake in Refresco, Europe's largest manufacturer of private-label fruit juice and soft drinks, and various other listed and unlisted shareholdings. www.stodir.is

About 3i
3i is an international leader in private equity. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Infrastructure and invest across Europe, Asia and North America. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio, shareholders and fund investors. www.3i.com