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 800 stores and over 32,000 employees. The business generates sales of over €2bn per annum.

Action’s business model differs from that of more traditional retailers because only 39% 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 the 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 and office supplies, cosmetics, personal care, snacks and food, toys, textiles, glass, porcelain and pottery, seasonal, decorative and DIY.

Investment Overview

Building on its success, Action has accelerated its growth in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France with 24 stores opening in 2011, to 144 in 2015. 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 Adrian Bellamy as Chairman and Marc van Gelder, CEO of Mediq, as Non-Executive Director.

Our investment in Action was recognised as the Deal of the Year at the annual Dutch M&A Awards in December 2011. Action was awarded 2016 Retailer of the Year Europe for the third consecutive year. It also recently won Dutch Retailer of the Year and Belgian Retailer of the Year.

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
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