• 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, flexible assortment, optimal distribution and a cost-conscious corporate culture ensure very low prices. The core product assortment includes decoration, DIY, garden and outdoor, household goods, multimedia, sports, stationery and hobby, toys and entertainment, food and drink, laundry and cleaning, personal care, pets, clothing and linen.

    Action generates revenues of over €5bn 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 nine distribution centres and two hubs
    • Operates more than 1,716 stores across eight countries
    • Leveraging our network, experience and resources to further internationalise the business
    • Ongoing sustainability efforts: 76% of cotton products sold by Action are certified by the Better Cotton Initiative and 60% of the paper and wood products in its range are made from sustainable wood.

    Update 2020   

    "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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Benelux.

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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 based on the world's most comprehensive inventory portfolio and advanced integrated manufacturing
    • Received 13 Queen’s Awards
    • Long-standing leadership in sustainability with clear focus on Net Zero Carbon
    "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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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    arrivia
    North America / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    arrivia (formerly I.C.E.) is a global provider of technology-based B2B2C travel-based loyalty and reward solutions for organisations such as Carnival, American Express, USAA and Diamond Resorts.

    The Company has developed a network business model that enables leading brands to offer loyalty programmes that provide customers with unmatched value on all travel products (e.g. cruise, hotel, resort, etc.)  arrivia also partners with leading travel suppliers to generate incremental travel bookings from members of its loyalty programmes.

    arrivia employs over 2,600 staff and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona with additional offices in Australia, UK, Portugal, India, Mexico, New Zealand and the Philippines.

    Highlights

    • Strong underlying market growth in cruise and rewards-based travel and tailwinds from increased use of loyalty programmes
    • Partnered with the Founders to accelerate international growth and support strategic initiatives
    • Transformative acquisition of SOR Technology, a leading provider in digital travel subscriptions
    • Strategic partnership with Lateral, a travel-focused software development firm, to accelerate platform development
    • Added to the senior management team with new CMO and VP of Finance roles
    • Introduced Marty Cole, former Chief Executive of Accenture Technology, as Chairman, and Jorge Boone, former SVP of Partner Brands at RCI (largest brand partner) and World Travel Holdings (largest competitor) as a Board Director
    “I am honoured to join the team at arrivia as its Chief Executive Officer and to partner with 3i, who has a proven track record in the travel industry and an impressive international network. Over the years, arrivia has built a very successful travel distribution company that has unique capabilities in the areas of membership, loyalty and revenue management. I believe the company has tremendous opportunities to capitalise on this foundation and innovate for the future.” Mike Nelson, CEO, arrivia

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Corporation, a US wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group.

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    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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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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 100 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 and grew rapidly to exceed 25% of bookings by 2019.

     

    Highlights

    • Accelerating growth in the US business, and 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 2016, 2017 and 2019
    • Completed a successful refinancing with the support of our Banking team

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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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 c900 clubs across five countries. Its operating model is based on a quality service, no frills approach, with memberships at €19.99 per 4 weeks. 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. During the lockdown in 2020-2021, Basic-Fit invested in its relationship with its customers by not collecting any membership fees and by offering live programmes online via the Basic Fit app.

    Highlights

    • Transformational growth into the largest value-for-money fitness club operator in Europe, increasing the number of clubs from 199 at entry in 2013 to c900 across five countries
    • 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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Benelux.

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    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.

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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    BoConcept
    Denmark / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Established in 1952, BoConcept is a leading Nordic design brand with dedicated distribution through dedicated BoConcept franchises around the world. BoConcept (literally translated from Danish "Living Concept") helps a wide range of customers to transform their home into a modern and extraordinary space fit to their style, through personal styling advice, great design at affordable prices and a high level of customisation. With an omni-channel offering through its ~300 stores in 65 countries across five continents, the homogenous brand concept of BoConcept is globally proven in metropoles around the world. 

    The company realised sales of DKK1.2bn in the financial year ending 30 April 2020.

    Highlights

    • Public to Private in 2016
    • We are supporting BoConcept in continuing its successful international franchise store roll-out by leveraging the strength of the brand, store concept and product collection
    • Accelerating its efforts to improve the omni customer journey as well as expanding its fast-growing B2B business
    • Supporting BoConcept in driving its sustainability strategy
    • Experienced an enormous digital acceleration, resulting in linking its online consumers to a virtual designer, thereby enabling BoConcept to establish a personal connection with its customers.
    "BoConcept has a globally appealing customer proposition. I enjoy working with the management team and 3i to unlock the full potential of the company." Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae, Chairman, BoConcept

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Benelux.

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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
    “3i's long-time experience in the consumer space and our close and trusted relationship are the basis for Christ's resilience during the Covid-19 crisis and the driver of accelerated post-Covid growth.” Stephan Hungeling, CEO, Christ

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Germany.

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    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 capabilities and footprint through the acquisitions of Vascotube, Metrigraphics, NovelCath, Cardea, Top Tool, Cactus 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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Corporation, a US wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group.

  • Logo DNSNET cropped.jpg
    DNS:NET
    Germany / Infrastructure

    Communications

    DNS:NET

    DNS:NET is a leading independent telecommunications provider in Germany. Established in 1998, DNS:NET owns the largest independent fibre-to-the-cabinet network in the Berlin area and is rolling out a fibre-to-the home network in Berlin and the surrounding regions.

    The company differentiates itself through a superior network, local brand recognition and attractive pricing of high bandwidth products, which drives high customer satisfaction. 3i Infrastructure’s backing will allow DNS:NET to accelerate its build programme to provide gigabit-ready connectivity to its customers. 

    Investment rationale

    In June 2021, 3i Infrastructure plc invested c.€182m to acquire a 60% stake in DNS:NET.

    Fibre is superior to other broadband access technologies because it provides reliable low latency, high bandwidth and distance-independent connectivity for both download and upload.  Demand for FTTH connectivity is forecast to grow rapidly, as consumers normalise data intensive activities such as cloud-based remote working, high definition streaming and online gaming, and increasingly view high speed broadband as an essential service.

    Germany lags behind most European countries in its FTTH deployment, with only 14% coverage today compared to the European average of 33%.  The market is projected to grow at 30% p.a. to meet the German government’s objective of every one of its 43 million households having access to gigabit speed broadband by 2025.

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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

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Corporation, a US wholly owned subsidiary of 3i Group.

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    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.

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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    ESVAGT
    Denmark / Infrastructure

    Energy

    Overview

    Headquartered in Esbjerg, Denmark, ESVAGT is a leading provider of emergency rescue and response vessels ("ERRV") and related services to the offshore energy industry in and around the North Sea and the Barents Sea. The company is also the market leader in the fast growing segment of service operation vessels ("SOV") for the offshore wind industry. 

    Its ERRV services mainly involve the rescue and recovery of personnel, but also include the dispersion and recovery of oil spills, crew transfers and towing. ESVAGT is the leading provider of ERRV services in Denmark and Norway, with market shares of approximately 100% and 50% respectively, as well as an established and growing presence in the UK. The majority of ESVAGT's ERRV revenues are associated with North Sea oil and gas production support, with the remainder generated by supporting exploration activity.

    ESVAGT is also the pioneer and market leader in the provision of SOVs to offshore wind farms, with seven bespoke vessels in operation and a further two under construction. SOVs are purpose-built, high performance vessels, providing efficient transport of maintenance technicians to wind turbines and other offshore equipment, under long term contracts. The offshore wind market, and hence demand for SOVs, is expected to grow strongly over the coming years, creating significant opportunities for the company.

    ESVAGT has been operating since 1981, employs c.1,100 people and owns a fleet of c.40 vessels.

     

    Recent developments

    The wind service operation vessels ("SOVs") segment is the primary driver of growth for the business where ESVAGT is the market leader. In the North Sea, ESVAGT has committed to five new contract backed SOVs since our acquisition.

    Internationally, ESVAGT is developing its focus on the US wind market, where it is preparing to support the expansion strategy of its European customers. ESVAGT is in discussions with the shipyard contracted to supply new SOVs, which is experiencing financial difficulties. We do not expect this to result in a material impact on ESVAGT's ability to fulfil its contractual obligations.

    In the emergency rescue and response ("ERRV") segment, stabilising supply/demand dynamics allowed ESVAGT's management to successfully implement its strategy of improving contract coverage for the fleet. However, we anticipate that the recent drop in oil prices will impact ERRV demand in 2020 and negatively affect ESVAGT's spot business.

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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    Evernex
    France / Private Equity

    Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Headquartered in Paris, France, Evernex maintains equipment that is critical for customers' business continuity, with full coverage of all equipment (servers, storage and network) and all OEMs. With its global presence, Evernex maintains over 220,000 IT systems and is the clear leader in Europe, Latin America and MEA. 

    Evernex acts as a single point of contact to address complex issues for its customers, combining strong technological capabilities with the ability to ensure quality of service anywhere across the globe. Today, Evernex is a leading consolidation platform benefitting from a fragmented and highly resilient market.

    Highlights

    • Secured European leadership through the acquisition of Technogroup (market leader in DACH)
    • Complemented strong foothold in MEA with the acquisition of Storex (market leader in South Africa)
    • Clear digitalisation roadmap to further enhance Evernex's tech-enabled proposition
    • Strong governance with the appointment of two industry leaders as Non-Executive Directors: O. Delrieu (Trescal) and O. Depuymorin (Arkadin)
    • Several Active Partnership levers launched to build a One Evernex: pricing, salesforce effectiveness, finance reorganisation
    "3i has a truly international team and network, which makes it the best partner for businesses looking to expand geographically. It also has deep expertise in the outsourcing space, and we look forward to benefiting from its track record as we accelerate our growth." Stanislas Pilot, CEO, Evernex

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i France.

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    Formel D
    Germany / Private Equity

    Industrial, Business & Technology Services

    Overview

    Formel D is a leading global service provider to the automotive and component supply industry, offering quality assurance and process optimisation along the entire value chain - from development to production through to aftersales.

    The company offers a wide range of testing and inspection services for individual parts, systems and vehicles to major OEMs and suppliers. Formel D was founded in 1993 and has over 9,000 employees at 80 facilities in 22 countries worldwide.

    Highlights

    • Pursue attractive international growth opportunities both organically and by acquisitions
    • Up- and cross-sell the service portfolio to customers internationally
    • Partnered with management to expand higher “value-add” service offering
    • Introduced CITIC Capital as investment partner with a broad network in China
    • Introduced Ralph Heck as Chairman via our Business Leaders Network
    “We are excited to work with 3i and CITIC Capital. Formel D’s international success story has just begun and we feel the combination of 3i and CITIC Capital is an exceptional one to further drive the next phase of our growth.” Dr. Juergen Laakmann, CEO, Formel D

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Germany.

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