3i sells its 20% stake in Grand Frais to management

05 Oct 2007

3i announces the sale of its minority stake in Prosol Gestion, owner of the fresh food shopping chain ‘Grand Frais’, to its president and founder, Denis Dumont.

In January 2003, 3i invested €14.3 million in Prosol Gestion in order to finance its expansion. Denis Dumont, who set up the group in Chasse-sur-Rhône, near Lyon, in 1990, was attracted by 3i’s expertise in the retail sector (such as Mr Bricolage, Camaïeu and Jennyfer). During 3i's four-year partnership, the company's turnover increased from €70 million to €250 million and the number of shops grew from 20 to 70.

Besides providing funds, 3i also offered strategic guidance through the introduction of key individuals such as the current President, Jean-Yves Dréan, which has had a phenomenal impact on the company’s growth. This was also the case with Se Loger and Vétoquinol, which both floated on the Paris stock exchange in 2006.

Denis Ribon, 3i Director, said that "3i is delighted  to have played such an integral role in the expansion of Grand Frais in a particularly competitive market. The success of Grand Frais has allowed us to realise twice our investment over four years, achieving an IRR of 20%.".

This exit occurs shortly after our €36 million investment in Lyon-based Groupe Cair. Denis Ribon today commented " We are very active in the Lyon region, managing more than €150 million worth of assets. "

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 relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
3i Growth Capital is the world’s largest growth capital fund investing over €1bn every year in businesses across Europe, Asia and the US.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest between €10m - €250m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders.

For further information please contact:

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