3i sells Défimode to Vivarte

08 Jan 2008

3i, world leader in private equity and venture capital is divesting its stake in Défimode at the time of the sale of the firm to Vivarte Group and Klepierre.

Headquartered in Brioude, Haute Loire, and founded in 1981 by the Montel brothers, Dominique and Bernand, Défimode is a French retail chain distributing ready to wear clothing for the whole family (men, women and children). Its branches are situated in medium sized towns with populations of between 6,000 and 60,000. In January 2006 3i invested €20m to help accelerate Défimode's growth plans and to establish a sound company structure for the future. 
 
In fact, during the last two years, Défimode has grown from 125 to nearly 200 stores.  Simultaneously, like-for-like growth (excluding new store openings) has outperformed the market and company profitability has risen by over 50%. This commercial expansion, added to strengthened team and strong management procedures clearly appealed strongly to Vivarte.  According to Denis Ribon (of 3i), Vivarte has offered a very attractive price allowing it to purchase 100% of Défimode shares.

Denis Ribon, 3i comments 'The partnership between the founders of Défimode and 3i has been exemplary. 3i brought its finance and experience to bear, to assist company management to grow sales and profitability to a level not previously known at Défimode. As well as contributing €20m in capital, 3i proved itself of utmost value during the structuring of management control and final negotiations. Additionally, this transactions enables Défimode to continue its development supported by impressive foundations with its new owners. A real win-win deal!”

Advisors included Lovells (Monique Sentilles-Dupont, Stephane Martin) for 3i and Sarrau Thomas Couderc (Christian Couderc, David de Pariente) for the company as well as BNP Paribas (Laurent Bory, Hervé Bodin) and KPMG (Florent Steck).

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus onBuyoutsGrowth Capital, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia.  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 and to our shareholders.

For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
email. rachel.richards@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3573