Portfolio Search

Search by:



Region: Benelux
Sector: Consumer

Watch the Action case study

Nature of Business

Since its establishment in 1993, Benelux-based Action has grown into the leading non-food discount retailer in the region with more than 450 stores and over 15,000 employees. The business generates revenues of over €1bn per annum.

Action’s business model differs from that of more traditional retailers because only 35% of its total product range is fixed. Action aims to surprise its customers with a constantly refreshed product range at amazingly low prices. The business model is summed up in its slogan: "surprisingly comprehensive, amazingly affordable". Large-scale procurement, optimal distribution and a cost-conscious corporate culture ensure very low prices.

The core product assortment includes household goods and office supplies, cosmetics, personal care, snacks, food, toys, textiles, glass, porcelain and pottery, seasonal, decorative and DIY.

"Action operates an impressive retail formula with a highly affordable and surprising product range that always manages to exceed customers’ expectations."

Ronald van der Mark, Chief Executive of Action

Investment Overview

Building on its success, Action has accelerated its growth in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and has entered France and has grown from 24 store openings in 2011 to 86 in 2013. This rate of expansion has required the strengthening of the management team and significant investment.

Our experience of realising international growth strategies is proving of great value in enabling Action to realise its ambitions more quickly.

Furthermore, through our Business Leaders Network, Action’s board has been strengthened with the appointment of Ronald van der Mark, previously a board member at Maxeda, who brings extensive financial and operational retail experience to the business. In addition, Marc van Gelder, CEO of Mediq, a Dutch pharmacy business, has assumed a role as Non-Executive Director and Adrian Bellamy has been appointed as Chairman.

Our investment in Action was recognised as the ‘Deal of the Year’ at the annual Dutch M&A Awards in December 2011. Action won the ‘Best Dutch Retailer of the Year 2014 – 2015’ awards in October 2014, based on the views of 380,000 customers who voted on 400 retailers.

Regulatory notice: This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Amsterdam

3i office contact


Cornelis Schuytstraat 72
1071 JL  Amsterdam

Tel: 0031 / 20 3057444
Fax: 0031 / 20 3057455


Private Equity Team

Latest News