Action accelerates international growth with 3i

30 Jun 2011

3i, an international investor focused on private equity, infrastructure and debt management, and funds managed by 3i have agreed to take a majority stake in Action, the Dutch retailer, in order to support the company’s international growth.

Action is one of the Netherlands’ leading retailers, with a unique store format summed up in the slogan: "Surprisingly comprehensive, amazingly affordable." The Action brand name, formula, corporate culture and operational efficiency are key attractions of the business and will remain unchanged.

Since its establishment in 1993, Action has grown into a highly successful company, with more than 250 stores across the Benelux and Germany and more than 7,000 employees.

Building on its past success, Action aims to accelerate its growth in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and other countries. This will require management expansion and significant investments. 3i’s extensive European retail knowledge will prove of great value in enabling Action to realise its ambitions more quickly.

Ronald van der Mark will become Chairman of Action’s Management Board. Van der Mark has extensive financial and operational retail experience. Previously he was a member of the Management Board of Maxeda. Action’s Workers’ Council and trade unions have been consulted in respect of this transaction, which will also be submitted for approval to the European competition authorities.

Action’s founders welcome 3i as a new shareholder: "Action has significant growth opportunities in the Netherlands and abroad. We know the consumer demand is there. To seize these opportunities we now need to accelerate growth and 3i will help us in this respect. That is good news for our customers and our staff. It means more consumers will soon be able to experience what Action has to offer and that shopping can be more than just fun – it can also be surprising and cheap. At Action you can always find cool, new items that are excellent value too. That is and remains our goal."

Robert Van Goethem, 3i, Partner and Global Head of 3i Consumer Sector said, "We are very impressed with Action’s past performance under the leadership of Action’s founders. Thanks to them, the business has grown to become one of the leading retail formats in the Benelux. We look forward to working closely with the company to further develop and grow the business whilst maintaining its current entrepreneurial culture. We will help Action grow by opening new stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. We are present in these and other markets, and will use our knowledge, experience and network in Europe and the rest of the world to support Action. 3i is very excited about this investment."

Ronald van der Mark: "Action operates an impressive retail formula with a highly affordable and surprising product range that always manages to exceed customers’ expectations. I look forward to working with 3i and all Action staff, who have been responsible for the great success to date, and to helping further professionalise Action whilst accelerating growth in the Netherlands and abroad. Together we will be able to respond to opportunities and developments in the growing and consolidating European market."

Note to editors:
This is a joint press release from Action and 3i. 
Action Press Contact: Charles Huijskens,  + 31 20 - 6 855 955 or  + 31 6 - 53 10 50 72 
3i Press Contact: Kathryn van der Kroft,  +44 20 7975 3021

About Action
Action, with more than 250 retail stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany operates under the slogan, "Surprisingly comprehensive, amazingly affordable”. Its headquarters and distribution centre are located in Zwaagdijk-Oost (North Holland). Action was founded in 1993. Its wide and varied product range includes household and office supplies, cosmetics, food, toys, textiles, glass, porcelain and pottery, seasonal, decorative and DIY. Action offers between 100 and 150 new items every week. Large-scale procurement, optimal distribution and a cost-conscious corporate culture ensure low customer prices.

By combining a sophisticated approach to its product range with low prices, Action has created a strong bond with consumers. Fun, good prices and quality ensure that many consumers shop at Action several times a week. In terms of logistics, the formula works like a supermarket chain, with daily distribution from the warehouse to the store.

See also: www.action.nl

About 3i
3i is an international investor focused on Private Equity, Infrastructure and Debt Management, investing across Europe, Asia and the Americas. 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. The long history of 3i in the Netherlands and Belgium is underlined by the presence of our office in Amsterdam. In recent years, 3i has invested more than €1billion in a wide range of companies in the Benelux.

See also: www.3i.com