• 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 1,700 stores across seven countries and employs over 59,000 staff
    • 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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    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 by over 400% from 199 to over 1,000 across the Benelux, France and Spain as per September 2021
    • In June 2016, 2.5 years after our investment, Basic-Fit completed its €820m IPO on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (350 clubs at the time)
    • 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

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

  • BoConcept.png (1)
    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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    Dutch Bakery
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Dutch Bakery, a leading bakery group specialised in home bake-off bread and snack products, is headquartered in Tilburg and operates six bakeries across the Netherlands.

    Dutch Bakery offers a leading, innovative and comprehensive assortment, which is produced sustainably and with natural ingredients. The bake-off market for bread and snack products is an attractive and growing market, with significant barriers to entry and increasing penetration of high-quality modified atmosphere packaging products (which extend the shelf life of fresh food products).

    Highlights

    • We are investing to drive the company’s international growth strategy in the fragmented European private label market for bake-off products, whilst supporting Dutch Bakery in the continued investments in its home markets
    • The business differentiates itself through the breadth of its product offering, which enables retailers to develop a structurally attractive home bake-off category
    • Key market drivers include premiumisation, growth in e-commerce and new home eating moments due to increased time spent at home
    • Dutch Bakery has completed its first add-on under 3i ownership
    "3i has extensive experience in the private label market through its investments in Royal Sanders and Refresco and a proven track record of growing companies internationally, both of which will be of great benefit to us. We look forward to working with them to build on our success to date and create a leading European player in the bake-off market." Raoul Vorage, CEO, Dutch Bakery
  • garten haus - logo - 500x367.png
    GartenHaus
    Germany / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    GartenHaus headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, is the online leader in the garden homes, sheds, saunas and related projects market in the DACH region. The business combines specialist trade product know-how with digital competence and offers a one-stop platform for customers – from planning to realisation and maintenance of their garden and home projects.

    Founded in 2002, GartenHaus is a pure eCommerce player and has been the pioneer in selling garden homes directly to consumers.   

    We see the business as the foundation to building the leading European platform for home and garden projects. The key focus is to develop the product range into adjacent categories, as well as to internationalise the business by expanding into neighbouring countries.

    Highlights

    • The home and garden market is expected to see online penetration double by 2025, generating market growth of c.13%
    • GartenHaus generates 95% of its sales directly online with a high level of SEO traffic as a result of its strong content
    • The business differentiates itself through its own product development, excellent customer service, and the management of complex logistics
    • Only 70 days after 3i's acquisition, GartenHaus acquired Polhus, a leading online retailer of garden houses and related products in Scandinavia
    • Acquisition of Outdoors Toys, a leading online D2C retailer of outdoor garden toys in the UK, in October 2021
    “3i has a great reputation for helping its companies to grow internationally and we are excited to partner with their team at this point in our journey. The 3i team has a strong network, excellent digital capabilities and a strong track record in the consumer retailer space, all of which will be of great benefit to GartenHaus.” Sebastian Arendt, CEO, GartenHaus
  • nexeye_logo_FC-500px.jpg
    nexeye
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Nexeye is a market leading omni-channel platform in value-for-money optics in North-West Europe. The company operates more than 700 stores 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.

    Highlights

    • Leading and fast-growing omni-channel optical retail platform that is exclusively focused on the growing value-for-money segment
    • Acquired eyes + more in January 2019, expanding nexeye's 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
    • Strengthened omnichannel position led to an increase of >100% of shop appointments made online, delivering a more valuable experience in-store, with zero waiting time, and better aligned staff planning
    "By working together to the maximum extent under the common nexeye banner and sharing knowledge and resources with each other, we aim to accelerate the growth of our current and future labels, creating value for all our stakeholders." Bart van den Nieuwenhof, CEO, nexeye

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

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    Havea Group
    France / Private Equity

    Healthcare, Consumer

    Overview

    Havea Group is a leader in the Natural Consumer Healthcare industry in Europe. It manufactures, designs and distributes a wide range of products from functional and natural food supplements, to natural personal care products for babies and women through its world class plant in France. Havea is well positioned due to its multi-distribution channel strategy (pharma, mass market, D2C) and its 7 well-known strategic brands: Biolane, Vitavea, Nature Moi, Yves Ponroy, Aragan, Densmore and Dermovitamina. Havea has acquired 5 companies in the past 5 years to strengthen its presence in the pharmacy channel and internationally.

    Since inception, Havea has grown at a double digit rate each year organically and is well positioned to benefit from the consolidation taking place in this highly fragmented market and will continue to expand its international footprint in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

    Highlights

    • Strong future organic growth expected stemming from global mega trends in natural healthcare and well-being
    • Transitioned from a family-owned business with the nomination of a new management team including Nicolas Brodetsky, former CEO of Aragan
    • Supporting the management team to implement a complete digital strategy
    • Supporting M&A opportunities using our global network and strong experience which led to the acquisitions of Aragan within a few months of our ownership, Densmore in July 2018, Pasquali in Italy in April 2019, Laudavie in November 2020 and ixX pharma in Belgium in August 2021
    "3i is a great partner for Havea; its values and approach fit really well with our entrepreneurial mindset. They relentlessly look for growth while keeping the right balance between operational performance improvement and the strengthening and digitalisation of our core processes. In 4 years with 3i, we have doubled the size of the Group and made 5 acquisitions, including my own company” Nicolas Brodetsky, CEO, Havea
  • Luqom-Group-logo.png
    Luqom Group
    Germany / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Luqom Group is the #1 vertically-integrated 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 27 country-specific online shops.

    Luqom Group differentiates itself from its competitors through an extensive range of 50,000 products, broad and differentiated product assortment, in-depth product knowledge, excellent customer service and high product availability. The company generated >€230m of sales in 2020, of which ~60% came from outside Germany. Luqom has grown strongly in the DACH region as well as internationally, through a steady roll-out across European countries 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
    • Acquired Netherlands-based QLF / Lampenlicht, the leading player in the Benelux region, in July 2019 as well as Lampemesteren, the leading online retailer for premium lighting products in the Nordics, in March 2021

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

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    Mepal
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Mepal is a leading Dutch lifestyle consumer brand that is known for its innovative, high-quality and sustainable products for storing, serving and take-away of food and drinks.

    Headquartered in Lochem, the Netherlands, Mepal’s products are renowned for their original and premium design, functionality, convenience, quality and sustainability, resulting in market-leading levels of customer satisfaction which are sold through mass and specialty retail channels, e-commerce partners and Mepal’s own online channels.

    We are partnering with the current CEO and owner of the business, Rutger de Korte, and the broader management team to continue the international expansion of the successful consumer brand. The company has grown impressively since 2018 driven by organic expansion into food retail and other large retail chains in Germany, and increased e-commerce revenue.

    Highlights

    • Strong track record in both innovation and design, winning numerous leading design awards
    • Further growth planned in existing core markets of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as well as developing new markets in Europe
    • Planned growth of its online business, further benefitting from increased e-commerce opportunities
    • Strong focus on ESG; Mepal is focused on increasing the share of recyclable materials in the production process and customers can re-order parts to extend the lifecycle of their products Additionally the products themselves help reduce food waste and the usage of single-use packaging, such as plastic bags and single use cups and bottles
    • Differentiates from competition based on premium design, functionality, product quality and a history of innovations (both re-designing existing concepts and launching new product lines)
    "Mepal is a very strong brand with 70 years of heritage. I am confident that with 3i as our partner, we will be able to achieve our growth ambitions in the years to come. I am looking forward to teaming up with 3i and taking the next steps together to continue the successful growth strategy of Mepal, through delighting our customers with smart and innovative products that last a lifetime.” Rutger de Korte CEO, Mepal
  • mpm logo.jpg
    MPM
    UK / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    MPM is an international leader in branded, premium, natural pet food. The business owns leading pet food brands such as Applaws, Encore and Reveal and differentiates itself through its high quality, human-grade products, its natural, clean-label ingredients and its “cat first” proposition.

    MPM is a certified B-Corp and its loyal customer base places great importance on its sustainable sourcing and recyclable packaging. Headquartered in Manchester, UK, MPM has an established presence in the UK, EMEA and APAC with a fast-growing business in North America resulting in international sales now accounting for more than 70% of revenues.

    The market has proven resilient through economic downturns and Covid-19, with pet ownership increasing amongst a highly engaged and loyal community for whom pets are seen as family members.

    Highlights

    • The premium wet cat food market is large and is forecast to continue to grow at c.7% p.a.
    • MPM fits well with our desire to invest in strong mid-market businesses where we see significant headroom to accelerate international expansion
    • We invested £125m alongside management for a majority stake in this rapidly growing, resilient business
    • Strong relationships with key retailers across pet specialist, grocery and online channels
    “3i has a formidable track record in helping its companies to grow internationally, particularly in the US market. This will be especially key for MPM as we look to accelerate our expansion in North America. The 3i team also has significant brand expertise through a number of its consumer investments which will be of great benefit to MPM.” Julian Bambridge, CEO, MPM
  • royal_sanders_resized3.png
    Royal Sanders
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Royal Sanders is a leading European private label and contract manufacturing producer in the health & beauty category. Its key geographies are the Benelux, Germany, France and the UK with plants in the Netherlands (Vlijmen and Zeewolde), the UK (Bradford) and Belgium (Ieper).

    Main product categories include shampoo, bath and shower gels, body lotions, hand wash and nutritional supplements. 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
    • Completed three add-on acquisitions since 2018
    • Production footprint expanded from two to four locations in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK
    • Differentiates itself through its focus on quality, innovation, sustainability and service, longstanding relationships with key customers and superior operational capabilities at its state-of-the-art facilities
    • Successfully driving consolidation in a fragmented industry with 3 completed acquisitions to date and multiple further 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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    Yanga
    Benelux / Private Equity

    Consumer

    Overview

    Yanga is the leading provider of an integrated in-house sports drinks concept to fitness chains.  Headquartered in the Netherlands, Yanga sells flavoured sports drinks through its installed base of proprietary hydration stations in gyms across Europe. Gym members who have an add-on or premium membership can use the stations to get flavoured water with sugar and colorant-free syrups during their workouts.

    3i is investing to support its international growth and expansion into North America.

    Highlights

    • Unique offering at scale with an installed base of >2,000 hydration stations
    • Strongly differentiated business model, delivering a win-win proposition to fitness operators and gym members
    • Exposed to key trends in the fitness market, including value-for-money and increased industry consolidation
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