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    ABX
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Headquartered in Brussels, ABX is a global freight company offering air and sea freight forwarding services globally and international road transport in Europe. It also provides Contract Logistics Solutions in Europe. ABX has a particularly strong presence in Western and Southern Europe, and has a leading position in Italy under the name of Saima Avandero. It also operates an extensive network in Asia-Pacific and in the Americas.

    At exit in 2008, ABX operated in 100 countries worldwide, had revenues of €1.8bn, and a workforce of c.6,500 people.

    Highlights

    • Expanded operations (US, China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Poland, India and Japan) and made several strategic bolt-on acquisitions
    • Improved sales force effectiveness and implemented a redesign of the IT platform to improve service quality
    • 3i worked closely with management to turn the business into a profitable, cohesive global group, resulting in strong growth and a successful sale of the company in October 2008
    “We have enjoyed a very positive and productive partnership with 3i, who believed early in ABX and its management, and supported us in the transition to our current business model.” Laurent Levaux, CEO, ABX Logistics Worldwide
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    Amor
    Germany / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Amor is a customer focused jewellery retailer which successfully expanded internationally during our ownership. It operates throughout Europe, as well as North America, the Middle East and Australia, and is the German market leader for affordable precious jewellery. In addition to its own 'Amor' brand, it also markets its jewellery under private labels.

    We leveraged our network to strengthen the Board, introducing Peter Linzbach, former Executive Board member of Metro Cash & Carry Int., as Chairman and Anders Moberg, former CEO of IKEA, as NXD.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • International sales growth of 23% CAGR during our investment period
    • Doubling of international Points of Sale ("PoS") in five years with over 1,000 international PoS opened
    • Broadened product offering through Sara and Kate self-service, Kiosk and NOELANI
    • Expanded global footprint to 24 countries
    • Materially improved gross margin from pricing, sourcing and cost initiatives
    Amor has undertaken a transformational journey over the past six years, and I would like to thank 3i for its partnership. 3i’s international network has proved invaluable in establishing our brand across Europe. Marcus Hoffmann, CEO, Amor
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    ATESTEO
    Germany / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    ATESTEO is a German-based global leader in outsourced automotive testing, with a focus on testing drivetrains for electric and conventional propulsion systems in the lab and on the road. ATESTEO’s services ensure that the vehicles of their customers, including some of the world’s pre-eminent automotive manufacturers and suppliers, are safe, reliable and fit-for-purpose.

    ATESTEO differentiates itself through testing technology, engineering expertise, flexibility, and economies of scale. We acquired a majority stake in ATESTEO in October 2013 and achieved a 4.4x return on exit in December 2017.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Instrumental in the strategic repositioning of the Company; strengthened and widened the testing service portfolio while non-core activities were discontinued
    • Significant international expansion driven by customer wins in Europe, China and North America. Tripled capacity of its Chinese operations through expansion and opened new state-of-the-art facilities in Germany
    • Completed two acquisitions, including straesser, a leading vehicle testing service provider, in September 2017 which opened up significant growth potential
    • Rebranded the business in 2016 to ATESTEO to underline its position as a leading testing service provider
    • Strengthened the Board with the appointment of Günter Hauptmann and Ad Verkuyten through our Business Leaders Network
    • Grew existing asset and personnel base for hybrid and electric vehicle tests
    • Simplified the corporate and shareholder structure including the professionalisation of internal processes
    "The 3i team has been a huge support in helping us to advance our international expansion and expand our footprint into growth markets such as China.” Wolfgang Schmitz, CEO, ATESTEO
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    Basic-Fit
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview 

    Basic-Fit is the European market leader in the value-for-money fitness market with over 560 clubs across the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Spain today. Its operating model is based on a quality service and 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 under 3i’s ownership was 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 was made to professionalise the business including a review of the brand and the format of the clubs.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Transformational growth into the largest value-for-money fitness club operator in Europe
    • Increased number of clubs by 75% from 199 to over 350 across the Benelux, France and Spain as per June 2016
    • In June 2016, 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

    "I would like to thank 3i for its close support which has been critical to delivering rapid and sustainable growth and achieving the company’s international ambitions." René Moos, CEO
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    Civica
    UK / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Civica is a leading software provider which significantly expanded its international presence and key product offering during our investment. Following our investment in 2008, through a public to private transaction, Civica continued its strong track record of organic growth in revenue and EBITDA, driven by a combination of sustained software sales from their market-leading product portfolio and the roll-out of cloud-based solutions in all markets. Further growth came from up-selling services to existing customers, including specialist outsourcing, such as its IT-enhanced BPO proposition.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Sales grew by over 80% from £127m to £230m
    • 10 acquisitions in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
    • Increased employees from 1,350 to over 2,000, approximately 60% of which are in the UK
    “With 3i as a partner, we‘ve been able to strengthen the business as well as grow our footprint, both in the UK and internationally.” Simon Downing, CEO, Civica
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    Element
    UK / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Element is a global network of laboratories with experts specialising in materials testing, product qualification testing and failure analysis for the Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Transportation and Industrial sectors. It transformed from a network of local, independent testing laboratories into a world class integrated testing business under our ownership. 

    The business was created as a carve-out from the Stork Group and rebranded as Element. Under our ownership it successfully delivered a buy-and-build growth strategy, enhanced sector testing capabilities, deepened customer relationships and expanded geographic coverage. Significant capital was invested to develop new testing technologies and support customer R&D programmes.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Transformed from a corporate subsidiary to a global leader in materials testing
    • 51 world class facilities across three continents covering three core sectors
    • Doubled number of staff and labs
    • Completed and integrated 10 acquisitions
    • Developed sector-focused approach
    • Rolled out a new pricing strategy across all labs
    “I would like to thank 3i for their close support which has been critical to delivering the rapid and sustainable growth that we have achieved over the past five years.” Charles Noall, President and CEO, Element
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    GANT
    Sweden / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview of business at exit

    GANT is an international marketer and designer of premium branded apparel. On exit, GANT had over 300 stores and 4000 selected retailers in over 70 countries. GANT offers full ranges of clothing for men, women and children. In addition, GANT branded watches, footwear, eyewear, fragrances and home furnishings are designed and marketed by licensees. GANT partnered with 3i because of its sector expertise and presence of local offices backed by its international network.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Strengthened the global licensing business with new leading license partners for shoes and fragrances (Selva Shoes and Elizabeth Arden)
    • Increased EBITA from €12m in 2002 to €23m in 2005
    • Successful €241m IPO on Stockholm Stock Exchange in April 2006
    • 91% IRR with money multiple of 4.7x
    "We are committed to further strengthening our position and building our brand through marketing, product development and geographical expansion. 3i was already an important partner in achieving this." Arthur Engel, CEO, GANT
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    Geka
    Germany / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    GEKA is a leading manufacturer of innovative brush applicator and packaging systems for the beauty and health industries. It is also a pioneer in the innovation of plastic injection moulding for mascara brushes and mascara packaging and is a development partner of market leading international cosmetics groups, including Procter & Gamble and Avon.

    We partnered with management to successfully deliver international expansion particularly into Asia and Latin America; opened a production facility in São Paolo; set up sales and sourcing offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong; and successfully expanded production capabilities in the US. In 2014 GEKA launched its Healthcare division, leveraging its precise applicator know-how in the pharmaceutical space.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • International expansion into Asia and Latin America and a broadened product offering
    • Constant innovation and adapting to changing consumer behaviour
    • Professionalisation of the organisation
    • Acquisition of OEKA strengthened its foothold in the attractive prestige market segment
    • Developed a digital strategy using 3D-printing and specialised offerings for fast-growing brands promoted via social media
    “GEKA has enjoyed exciting growth over the past years, and I would like to thank 3i for its value-adding partnership. 3i’s international expertise and network have been important factors in our successful expansion into new markets” Amaury de Menthière, CEO, GEKA
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    Hilite International
    Germany / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Hilite is a global supplier of leading automotive solutions, and innovative engine and transmission products. Through our ownership, it transformed from an ambitious and growing automotive business to a truly global leader in innovative products for improving fuel efficiency.

    Together with the Board, we developed Hilite's internationalisation strategy, introduced a Chairman with strong global sector knowledge and an extensive network. We brought in two NXDs, one with US experience and the other with a Chinese focus, to help develop the Asian market. We also established a state of the art manufacturing plant in China in order to drive Asian sales and helped the development of a ‘one international Hilite’ culture which improved operating efficiency through best practice sharing.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • 50% core revenue growth, including sales to China increasing from 0 - 17% in three years
    • Won new customers globally including Audi and Volvo, and provided greater global support to existing customers
    • Globally coordinated R&D effort with new centres opened in the US and China
    • Large scale global sourcing improvement initiative
    “3i has supported us through a vital phase in our development. We’re now a more focused company with global presence, particularly in China.” Karl Hammer, CEO, Hilite International
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    HSS
    UK / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    HSS is a leading UK tool and equipment rental chain. On exit HSS had c.300 branches and 150 agencies, and around 18% market share with a growing international presence through 44 franchises outlets.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Repositioned 50 year old HSS brand from a pure hire/rental business to a facilities management company for trade customers who make up 90% of the business
    • Transformed its depot network in order to meet the changing needs of its customers, enhanced efficiency of delivery logistics and improved overall availability of stock
    • Developed a web presence to allow domestic customers to order and pay for equipment without visiting a branch
    • Introduced Alan Peterson as Chairman and Chris Davies as CEO
    • Launched a detailed three year value creation and growth plan.
    "The measures we took in partnership with 3i delivered a leaner business and a much clearer line of sight on logistics - helping to ensure that we always had the right tool in the right place at the right time." Alan Peterson, former Chairman, HSS
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    Hyva
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    A global producer and supplier of hydraulic cylinders for hydraulic loading and unloading systems for commercial vehicles. During our ownership, Hyva transformed from a Dutch-based business to a global market leader and tripled its turnover.

    This significant internationalisation included an acceleration of capex, with eight factories built in BRIC markets, and the development of manufacturing, R&D and sales/service infrastructure in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Global leader with 60% market share in its relevant markets
    • 3-fold growth in turnover during our investment
    • Emerging markets sales increased from 23% at investment to 70% at exit
    • Increase in international footprint from 16 to 32 countries
    • Product line extended through strategic acquisitions.
    “I would like to thank 3i for their continuous support for our successful entrepreneurial and global growth in transforming a European, Dutch-based business into a truly global player with a market leading position in all the countries in which we operate." Louwrens Dijkstra, CEO, Hyva
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    Ineum
    France / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Ineum is a former Deloitte Consulting business in France providing management, organisation and operational consulting. It is a leader in addressing CFOs’ specific needs through distinctive knowledge and independence from IT consulting / provider firms.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • MBO in October 2003 through a complex carve out of three independent business units from Deloitte
    • Enlarged client base to include more blue-chip customers (e.g. Keolis and SNCF introduced by 3i)
    • Introduced new Deputy MD and two high-calibre individuals to the Board to support high-level marketing and strategy
    • Implemented Employee Profit Sharing Scheme in order to reinforce employee motivation and retention, especially at the pre-partnership level
    • Reshaped the organisation to improve productivity and visibility
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    Keolis
    France / Private Equity

    Industrial

    Overview

    Keolis is a leading urban and inter-urban transport operator. At the time of 3i’s exit in 2006, Keolis operated in seven countries including the UK, Sweden, Germany and Canada. It employed over 33,000 staff and had a turnover of €2.6bn.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Introduced Michel Bleitrach as Chairman, Michel Lamboley as CFO, and Jean Michel Mauvilly as NXD
    • Assisted with four key French acquisitions and recruited full-time M&A team to ensure consistent pipeline for growth
    • Worked with management to structure the group involving a comprehensive reorganisation of the business in France including the promotions of 30 young managers and the setup of an equity based incentive program for nearly 400 managers
    • Solved the succession issues and attracted top talents
    • Grew EBITDA by over 32% to €155m between 2003 and 2006
    • 3i sold its majority stake in 2006 to a consortium for €1.08bn, with an IRR of 110%
    “3i’s industry expertise and contacts helped us prioritise our plans, win major contracts in existing geographies such as Sweden and the UK, and evaluate new locations for growth. As a result, international growth was disciplined, quick and profitable.” Michel Bleitrach, CEO, Keolis
  • LHilogo
    LHi Technology
    Singapore / Private Equity

    Healthcare

    Overview

    LHI Technology is a manufacturer of medical cables with offices in China, Singapore, the US, and Germany. The company’s complex products are used in challenging environments to provide real time information for patients; only a handful of players globally have this capability

    During our ownership, the company evolved from a business focused predominantly on blood oxygen monitoring into one offering more technically demanding and higher performance products, including ECG and ultrasound cables and cables for surgical and video endoscopy applications, including ultrasound.

    Working with management, we implemented several operational improvements, including increasing the company’s technical capabilities and optimising key costs.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Implemented several strategies to drive growth, invested in technical capabilities, developed succession plan and optimised cost in freight and distribution
    • Significantly diversified both the product range and customer base
    • Numerous award wins including the GE Innovation award in 2012 for outstanding performance in quality, delivery and cost reduction
    • Introduced a seasoned industry executive, Al Bautista, as Chairman
    “3i’s comprehensive knowledge and network in the healthcare industry gave LHi an increased scope and expansion possibilities that we never had before." Jay Pok, Founder, LHi Technology
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    Marken
    UK / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Marken is a specialist express logistics and support services provider to the biopharmaceutical industry. Its services include the movement of biological samples on a global basis, the export of trial medication, vaccines and clinical trial material, regulatory advice, protocol support, cold-chain management and investigator liaison.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • Delivered an ambitious growth strategy and achieved a growth rate of over 30%
    • Increased operating margins through both revenue growth and cost savings
    • Strengthened the management team and introduced sector expert, Mel Porter, to the board as NXD
    • Leveraged 3i’s global network to support organic growth while actively seeking out bolt-on acquisitions
    • Established operations in China
    • Expanded US market share and targeted US-based pharma companies
    “3i managed to pre-empt what was going to be a highly competitive auction by the speed with which it completed its due diligence and was ready to execute a contract. 3i became the preferred acquirer with management, and was quickly able to conclude the deal." Jonathan Rowland, MD, Citigroup
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    Mayborn
    UK / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Mayborn is a leading manufacturer and distributor of baby and child products under the Tommee Tippee brand. Under our ownership it transformed from a UK consumer products business to the fifth largest baby accessories business globally.

    During our investment Tommee Tippee was elevated to Master Brand status across all product lines, as a result of its brand equity and consumer recognition. Mayborn entered the US directly, developing its brand presence with an exclusive launch in Babies R’ Us and subsequently also selling through Target and Wal-Mart. After five years, US revenues grew to over $40m. A direct sales model was followed in Mayborn’s core growth markets, which included the acquisition of its French distributor and the establishment of a direct Australian model in 2012.

    Highlights under our ownership

    • From UK #2 to clear market leader in the UK and Australia; fastest growing player in the US; and 5th largest player globally
    • Increased Mayborn’s international sales from 40% to 60% of total revenue
    • Built up the Tommee Tippee brand to account for 95% of sales on exit
    “Mayborn has undertaken a transformational journey over the past 10 years, and I would like to thank 3i for its partnership. 3i’s international mindset has been an important factor in our successful expansion into new markets.” Steve Parkin, CEO, Mayborn
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