• ActionLogo_NEWmarch18.png
    Action
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Established in 1993, Benelux-based Action is the leading non-food discount retailer in Europe. 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 generates revenues of over €3bn per annum. Its business model differs from that of more traditional retailers because only c35% 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 summarised by the slogan: "more than you expect for less than you imagine".

    Highlights

    • Won "European Retailer of the Year" award for three consecutive years
    • Opened five distribution centres
    • Operates more than 1,100 stores across seven countries and employs over 41,000 staff
    • Leveraging our network, experience and resources to further internationalise the business
    "Action continues to perform strongly by expanding rapidly. The company has become a seasoned issuer in the debt markets. The strong demand from investors reflects the high level of support for Action’s strategy and management.” Robert Van Goethem, Partner and Head of Consumer
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    AESSEAL
    UK / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    AES’s mechanical seals are used in a variety of pumps and rotating equipment worldwide to prevent liquids and gases escaping into the environment. A wide range of mechanical seal types are manufactured to suit different industries and the significant investment made in modular design means that AES provides the best on-time delivery performance in the industry. 

    The AESSEAL® range of seals, seal support systems and bearing protectors are designed to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs of rotating equipment. The business is focused on giving customers such exceptional service that they need never consider alternative sources of supply.

    Highlights

    • Established a strong international position in many end-user markets including the most arduous Oil & Gas applications
    • Exceptional customer service on engineered specials provided through planned under-utilisation of 9 and 11 axis machines and world class integrated CAD / CAM and PLM
    • Received 13 Queen’s Awards
    • Global service is provided through 38 fully or majority owned international subsidiaries
    "3i has been a great partner over nearly two decades. They understand what it takes to grow a great, international business; they both support us in that mission and challenge us to be the best we can." Chris Rea, OBE Founder and Managing Director
  • ASPEN.png
    Aspen Pumps
    UK / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Aspen Pumps designs, manufactures and distributes specialised mini pumps that remove condensate water from air conditioning and refrigeration systems. It is the global leader for mini pumps and is renowned for having the most reliable, installer friendly and innovative products. Additionally, it sells a range of products for air conditioning installers and engineers, including its range of accessories, Aspen Xtra, and rooftop mounting systems, Big Foot.

    Following our acquisition of Aspen in 2015, the business is building on its market leading position and further penetrating international markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia through a number of organic and acquisitive initiatives to enhance its offering of value-added components, tools and accessories.

    Highlights

    • Strong international presence with products available in over 100 countries
    • Completed four acquisitions in France, Germany, Australia and the UK since our investment
    • Global sales force effectiveness initiative rolled out in 2016 to further accelerate organic growth globally
    • Focus on innovation and new product development, with a number of successful new product launches in 2016 and 2017
    • 90% increase in revenues in the first three and a half years of our investment
    "We are delighted to be partnering with 3i. We have been impressed with their ambition for the business and feel we can benefit greatly from their experience supporting businesses achieve international expansion." Adrian Thompson, Chief Executive, Aspen Pumps
  • Atterologo.png
    Attero
    Benelux / Infrastructure

    Energy

    Attero

    Attero owns two energy from waste (‘EfW’) plants, two sorting and pre-treatment facilities, six anaerobic digestion facilities, seven composting facilities and 10 landfills. The company processes waste from a diverse mix of domestic municipalities, commercial and industrial customers, as well as a number  of UK and Irish exporters.

    Attero has good revenue visibility due to its long-term contracts with customers. It is well positioned within the Dutch market with two of the largest and most efficient EfW plants in the country, strategically positioned with good port, road and rail access for both import and domestic waste supply. In addition, Attero is strongly positioned to benefit from favourable underlying trends in the European waste market, driven by EU directives targeting more recycling.

    Investment rationale

    Attractive opportunity in a new sector for the Company,  with favourable long-term dynamics

    Attero operates two of the largest and best located waste treatment facilities in Western Europe, resulting in high efficiency and a low marginal cost

    The European Union requires member states to reduce landfill use, increasing the volume of waste requiring incineration

    Good revenue visibility from long-term waste supply contracts with municipalities, industrial customers, and waste exporters

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    Audley Travel
    UK / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Audley Travel (“Audley”) is a leading provider of tailor-made experiential travel to over 80 destinations worldwide. Serving clients predominantly in the UK and US, Audley is renowned for its superior customer service and in-depth destination expertise delivered by its country specialists. This exceptional service drives customer loyalty leading to high levels of repeat customers and referrals.

    Founded in 1996, Audley is the clear market leader in tailor-made travel in the UK. The business expanded into the US in 2014 with the opening of an office in Boston that has grown rapidly and is already generating over 15% of total revenues.

     

    Highlights

    • Completed a successful refinancing with the support of our Banking team
    • Implementation of a wider employee incentive scheme to benefit a broader base of Audley management and country specialists
    • Accelerating growth in the US business, including the successful launch of European destinations from 2016
    • Continuing to drive the digital development of the business
    • Named ‘Best Tour Operator’ at Telegraph Travel Awards in 2017 and 2015-16
    "We are delighted to be partnering with 3i which has enabled our management team to invest further into the business. 3i has a longstanding track record of supporting people-based businesses, and their international mindset and footprint is highly attractive to us as a management team." Ian Simkins, Chief Executive, Audley Travel
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    Basic-Fit
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Benelux-based Basic-Fit is the European market leader in the value-for-money fitness market with c500 clubs across five countries. Its operating model is based on a quality service, no frills approach, with family membership costing €19.99 per month. Clubs are well equipped, offer virtual group classes and 24 hour opening in some venues. 

    Basic-Fit’s disciplined international growth strategy is underpinned by investment in the organisation and key consumer trends of spending polarisation and the increasing focus on health and wellness. Alongside this, significant investment has been made to professionalise the business including a review of the brand and the format of the clubs.

    Highlights

    • Transformational growth into the largest value-for-money fitness club operator in Europe, increasing the number of clubs by 75% from 199 to over 350 across the Benelux, France and Spain as per June 2016
    • In June 2016, 2.5 years after our investment, Basic-Fit completed its €820m IPO on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange
    • Successful execution of international roll out strategy, creating market leading positions in the Netherlands and Belgium and a strong platform for further growth in France and Spain
    • Introduced Ronald van der Vis as Chairman via our Business Leaders Network
  • BELFAST.png
    Belfast City Airport
    UK / Infrastructure

    Overview

    BCA is a small regional airport in Belfast, Northern Ireland, located ten minutes by car from Belfast city centre In 2016 it served 2.7m inbound and outbound passengers. Its focus is domestic routes operated by scheduled carriers, serving business as well as leisure customers.

    Currently four scheduled carriers (Flybe, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Eastern Airways) serve 17 domestic routes, including London Heathrow and London City. A small part of BCA’s traffic is international: Aer Lingus currently serves four sun routes (although this is due to drop to two) over the summer months; KLM serves Amsterdam; and Icelandair flies to Reykjavik.

    Aeronautical revenues (airport charges) are not subject to economic regulation. Commercial revenues are generated principally from car parking, royalties on retail, food and beverage, car hire spend, rental income (lounges and offices) and advertising space.

    Over 1,000 people are employed on the site, but only c.70 of those are employed by BCA. Many activities are outsourced (e.g. security, facilities management, air traffic control); and others are provided by third parties on-site (e.g. retail, food and beverage operations and ground handling). Fire services, maintenance, advertising, car parking and administration / management are the main activities that remain in-house.

    Investment rationale

    • BCA is critical infrastructure in Northern Ireland for people needing to travel between Belfast and the UK mainland.
    • Its location close to the city centre makes it the airport of choice for a significant part of the Northern Ireland air transport market: in particular for inbound business and leisure travel as well as for outbound travel for those based in, or close to, Belfast.
    • Opportunities exist to grow commercial revenues.
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    BoConcept
    Denmark / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overiew

    Established in 1952, BoConcept has evolved into a world-leading developer of interior design and furniture concepts. With the brand promise of ‘Make the most out of your space’ BoConcept has built a strong following across the world and is now present in more than 60 markets through a network of more than 270 brand stores.

    Following strong business improvement during the last two years, the company realised sales of DKK1.3bn in the financial year ending 30 April 2018.

    Highlights

    • Public to Private in 2016
    • We are supporting the Company in continuing its successful international store roll-out by leveraging the strength of the store concept and product collection
    • Accelerating its efforts to build an omnichannel presence as well as expanding its fast-growing B2B business.
    "We are investing in a successful international brand with a proven track record in over 60 countries. We look forward to supporting the management team to further develop the company and continue to grow it internationally." Boris Kawohl, Partner, 3i Benelux
  • Cross-London.png
    Cross London Trains
    UK / Infrastructure

    Transport & logistics

    Overview

    Cross London Trains ('XLT') is a company established to procure and lease the rolling stock for use on the Thameslink passenger rail franchise. As part of a wider upgrade of the Thameslink rail network, XLT is investing £1.6 billion in a fleet of new Siemens Desiro City commuter rail carriages to be leased to the Thameslink rail franchise operator, with the continued leasing of the trains underpinned by the Department for Transport for a period of 20 years.

    Recent developments

    The Cross London Train programme continued to make good progress. The programme aims to deliver the contracted fleet of 115 class 700 trains by the second half of 2018 to operate across the Thameslink network.

    Siemens had manufactured 95 trains as at 30 September 2017, out of which 70 had been accepted by the GTR rail franchise. The performance of the delivered trains continues to improve at the expected rate.

    The Investment Adviser’s attention remains focused on both improving train performance and the ongoing acceptance of new trains. The discount rate remained unchanged from the previous period. It is expected to be reduced over time as the fleet becomes operational and the risk to the programme decreases.

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    Christ
    Germany / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Christ is a German jeweller, founded in Frankfurt in 1863 and now based in Hagen. The company is a market leader in jewellery and watches in Germany in the mid-to-upper price segment.

    Christ focuses on its own specialised stores in high street locations and shopping malls, along with flagship stores at airports and prestigious department stores. Additionally, Christ runs a strongly growing e-commerce platform. Through its strong multi-channel capabilities bridging between the stationary stores and the e-Commerce business, Christ leverages its strong brand online and offline.

    Highlights

    • Our extensive experience in the retail sector is supporting Christ to access other high-potential markets via a European store roll-out programme
    • Peter Linzbach, former Executive Board member of Metro Cash & Carry, and Jochen Wilms, a seasoned digital expert and Chairman of 3i’s Lampenwelt investment, joined the Board via our Business Leaders Network providing retail, internationalisation and e-commerce insights
    • Strong retail brand and position means Christ is well placed to build on its success in the highly fragmented German market which is the largest in Europe
    • Initiatives planned across pricing, sourcing, assortment structure, inventory and financial control & transparency as well as further strengthening Christ’s e-commerce capabilities
    “We are delighted to partner with 3i, they have an extensive track record in growing businesses within the retail sector and we look forward to working with them closely as we enter this new stage of development and growth for the Company.” Dr Bernd Schröder, CEO, Christ
  • logo-cirtec.jpg
    Cirtec Medical
    North America / Private Equity

    Healthcare

    Overview

    Cirtec Medical ("Cirtec") is a leading global provider of outsourced medical device and components design, engineering and manufacturing, headquartered in Minnesota. Cirtec specialises in outsourced solutions for active implantable medical devices. Customers rely on Cirtec’s expertise to provide value-add solutions throughout the entire development cycle to help bring life-enhancing therapies to market.

    The medical device outsourcing (MDO) market is expected to grow at a high single digit rate over the next five years and Cirtec is strategically indexed to the most innovative therapeutic end-markets that are growing at a rate beyond the broader MDO industry.

    Highlights

    • Helping Cirtec expand its capabilities and footprint through the acquisitions of Vascotube, Top Tool and high value intellectual property
    • Recruited William Hawkins (former Medtronic CEO) and William Ellerkamp (former ExtruMed CEO) to the Board of Directors
    • Supporting the business through continued targeted acquisitions within the highly fragmented MDO market
    • Utilising our sector experience and international network to promote Cirtec’s organic growth plans

     

    "We look forward to partnering with 3i. We feel that their approach, sector understanding and international reach makes them the right partner to support the next stage of our growth." Brian Highley, CEO, Cirtec
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    Dynatect Manufacturing
    North America / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Dynatect is a leading manufacturer of engineered, mission critical components that protect equipment.

    Dynatect’s products are made from a variety of materials ranging from nylons to metals and are designed to protect and elongate the life of valuable equipment and protect workers near machinery. Products are low-cost yet critical, such as cable carriers or telescopic protective covers, and are sold into a large number of end-markets including automation, machine tools, construction, agriculture, transportation, medical and O&G. 

    The company is headquartered in Wisconsin, USA, and operates in four locations in the US and two locations in Europe.

    Highlights

    • Recruited several new executives into the senior leadership team to drive key initiatives
    • Investments in Pricing and New Product Development to drive organic growth
    • Investments in an ERP implementation and lean practices to improve operational efficiency
    • Introduced Bill Barker, former CEO of Mold-Masters as Chairman, and Steve Breitzka, former CEO of Apex Tool and Group Executive at Danaher, to the board
    "3i was a natural choice of partner for us. With their international network and local market insight, we will be able to accelerate our international growth strategy and be best placed to service our global customer base". Brian McSharry, Former CEO, Dynatect
  • EAST SURREY PIPELINE.png
    East Surrey Pipeline
    UK / Infrastructure

    Overview

    ESP is an independent gas transporter (“iGT”) and independent electricity network operator (“iDNO”) providing the ‘last mile’ of connection between properties (predominantly residential, but also industrial and commercial) and the gas and electricity distribution networks.

    It focuses on being an ‘independent asset owner’. It acquires (bids for) gas and electricity connections from ‘utility infrastructure providers’ (“UIP”), who have themselves designed and installed the connections for property developers. ESP is then responsible for maintaining the connections going forward and receives a regulated revenue stream for each connection from the gas and electricity companies who charge the end customer as part of their overall gas or electricity bill. Price regulation for both gas and electricity connections is based on the regimes of the gas and electricity distribution companies. Regulation is overseen by Ofgem.

    Today ESP owns over 500,000 connections and has an order book for 200,000 more, making it the second largest iGT/iDNO in the UK. ESP also has a domestic metering business (representing almost one quarter of its revenues). Charges for meters are unregulated.

    Investment rationale

    • ESP operates under an established and proven regulatory framework that drives stable and high quality cash flow generation.
    • Significant growth is forecast from the demand for new UK housing. The financial crisis led to a number of years of low levels of new builds, which exacerbated the shortage of supply versus demand.
    • ESP does not undertake installation works and so does not compete with the UIPs. This lack of conflict of interest enables it to be a preferred acquirer of assets and to focus on customer service as it is a neutral host. This gives it a competitive advantage against other players in the connections market.
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    ESVAGT
    Denmark / Infrastructure

    Energy

    Overview

    ESVAGT is a leading provider of emergency rescue and response vessels and related services to the offshore energy industry in and around the North Sea and the Barents Sea.

    Recent developments

    The market conditions in which ESVAGT operates remain challenging. The low oil price environment has reduced production profitability and is negatively impacting exploration investment in the North Sea, leading to a reduced utilisation rate for ESVAGT’s vessels. In this context, we have continued to focus on the cost base and increasing ESVAGT’s market share in the UK. We have also seen some improvements in the supply dynamics as competitors are retiring off-contract, older tonnage.

    ESVAGT has maintained its position as a Service Operations Vessel (“SOV”) market leader and has recently announced a new contract with MHI Vestas. The pipeline of new opportunities continues to grow and ESVAGT is currently shortlisted amongst the final bidders for two ongoing tenders. This may lead to an equity injection from shareholders to fund the construction of new vessels.

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    Etanco
    France / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Etanco is the leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of building fasteners and fixing systems in France. Headquartered near Paris with 600 employees, the company also has distribution entities in Belgium, Italy and Eastern Europe and exports to more than 20 countries around the world through its Italian subsidiary Friulsider.

    Etanco provides a full range of 80,000 products to cope with all the fastening needs of the “building envelope” including waterproofing, roofing, cladding, facades and safety lines. This extensive product range enables Etanco to offer products that meet specific market requirements and growing environmental and European regulatory standards. The company runs an integrated business model with 30%-40% of its products manufactured in-house, and offers world class logistics with all customised products being produced in small series and delivered in less than 48 hours directly to the construction worksite.

    As a leading innovator of technical products, Etanco is well positioned to capitalise on the longer term trend of increasing thermal regulation (energy saving) across Europe.

    Highlights

    • Successfully delivered sales force effectiveness optimisation programme
    • Professionalisation and refocus of the business’ approach to export sales, resulting in a 20% annual growth of exports sales
    • Executing a buy-and-build strategy to both build a direct salesforce within a new market, and buy complementary product ranges
  • EURO DIESEL.png
    EURO-DIESEL
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Belgium-headquartered EURO-DIESEL was established in 1989. The Company designs, manufactures and maintains Diesel Rotary Uninterruptable Power Supply systems (“DRUPS systems) for top-tier customers in EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific through its worldwide network of 12 subsidiaries and over 40 distributors.

    EURO-DIESEL has seen significant international expansion through the success of its unique NO-BREAK KS® DRUPS systems which ensure that its customers are immediately protected from power supply failures. This is a mission-critical product for its customers, which include data centres, hospitals, airports, banks, road and railway tunnels.

    Highlights

    • Technological leader position sustained through the expansion of its international sales organisation, and continued investment in product innovation
    • Our extensive international experience and contacts in the sector supports EURO-DIESEL’s ambitious international growth agenda
    • Introduced Peter Grosch as Chairman and Mike Tobin OBE as Non-Executive Director via our Business Leaders Network
    "The partnership with 3i brings new momentum to EURO-DIESEL’s development. We benefit greatly from 3i’s international network and experience in managing growth while improving operational performance." Philippe Gillain, CEO, EURO-DIESEL
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