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    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 €4bn 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 seven distribution centres
    • Operates more than 1,325 stores across seven countries and employs c.46,000 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

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

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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

    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 c700 clubs across five countries. Its operating model is based on a quality service, no frills approach, with 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 from 199 at entry in 2013 to c700 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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    BoConcept
    Denmark / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overiew

    Established in 1952, BoConcept has evolved into the most global interior design and furniture brand. With the brand promise of ‘Encouraging cosmopolitan living’ BoConcept has built a strong following across the world and is now present in 65 markets through a network of more than 290 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 franchise 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

    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
    “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

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

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    Hans Anders
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Founded in 1982 and headquartered in the Netherlands, Hans Anders is a market leading, value-for-money optical retailer in North-West Europe. The company operates under the Hans Anders, eyes + more and Direkt Optik retail banners, and offers a range of private label and branded spectacles, hearing aids, contact lenses and sunglasses at average price points significantly below its major competitors.

    Hans Anders is one of the most well-known optical retailers in its core markets, with a high level of brand awareness and customer loyalty that will benefit from long term macro-growth dynamics.

     

    Highlights

    • Leading and fast-growing optical retail platform that is exclusively focused on the growing value-for-money segment
    • Acquired eyes + more in January 2019, expanding Hans Anders' European footprint to five countries
    • Benefits from long-term, macro growth dynamics including an aging population and an increasing consumer focus on value-for-money
    • Fragmented European optical retail market presents significant opportunities for growth
    "eyes + more is a great strategic fit for Hans Anders and the acquisition will transform our company into a European platform, making it the leading North-West European optical retailer in the growing value-for-money segment." Bart van den Nieuwenhof, CEO, Hans Anders

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

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    Lampenwelt
    Germany / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Lampenwelt is the #1 speciality online retailer of lighting products in Europe. It is headquartered in Germany, from where it distributes own-brand and third party products to customers all over Europe through 15 country-specific online shops.

    Lampenwelt differentiates itself from its competitors through an extensive range of over 45,000 products, in-depth product knowledge, excellent customer service and high product availability. The company generated €75m of sales in 2017, of which ~50% came from outside Germany, and has grown strongly in Germany and through a steady roll-out across Europe in recent years.

     

    Highlights

    • Via our Business Leaders Network we appointed Jochen Wilms, a seasoned expert in both the building supply and online industries
    • Supporting the business to further strengthen its position in Germany and further penetrate existing and additional international markets
    • We also introduced the operational Venture Capital fund Project A Ventures as minority investor to further improve Lampenwelt’s best-in-class digital capabilities
    "We are delighted to be partnering with 3i for the next stage in our growth story. 3i has extensive experience in the consumer sector and an impressive network which will help us enlarge our footprint in Europe." Thomas Rebmann, CEO, Lampenwelt

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

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    Royal Sanders
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Royal Sanders is a leading European private label and contract manufacturing producer of personal care products. Its key geographies are the Benelux, Germany, France and the UK with plants in the Netherlands (Vlijmen), the UK (Preston and Bradford) and Belgium (Ieper).

    Main product categories include shampoo, bath and shower gels, body lotions and hand wash. The company sells its products through private label, contract manufacturing and own brands including Van Gils, Sanicur and Odorex.

    3i is investing alongside management to drive the company’s international growth strategy.

     

    Highlights 

    • Demonstrated a consistent and strong track record of profitable organic growth over the past 10 years, significantly outgrowing the market
    • Differentiates itself through its focus on quality and service, longstanding relationships with key customers and superior operational capabilities at its state-of-the-art facilities
    • Ready to drive consolidation in a fragmented industry with multiple potential buy-and-build opportunities across geographies
    We are delighted to be partnering with 3i. It has extensive experience in buy-and-build in private label, for example through its investment in European soft drinks bottler Refresco, and in growing companies internationally through its network of valuable industry experts in the consumer sector. Bart Hullegie, CEO, Royal Sanders

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

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