3i invests €200m in Hans Anders to support further growth


3i Group plc (“3i”) today announces that it has agreed to invest €200m in Hans Anders, a leading optical retailer in the Benelux. The business is being purchased from Alpha Private Equity and Alpinvest.

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, Hans Anders is a market leading, value-for-money optical retailer in the Benelux with a presence in Sweden and France. The company offers a range of private label and branded spectacles, as well as hearing aids, contact lenses and sunglasses, at average price points significantly below its major competitors. The company is the most well-known optical retailer in its core markets with a high level of brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Hans Anders represents an attractive opportunity in the sweet spot of 3i’s consumer strategy and will benefit from long-term, macro growth dynamics including an aging population and an increasing focus by consumers on the value-for-money segment. 3i has extensive experience of investing in the value-for-money segment through its existing investments in Action, the leading international non-food discount retailer, and Basic-Fit, the largest value-for-money fitness club operator in Europe.

Hans Anders operates 253 stores in the Netherlands, 105 in Belgium, 62 in France and 36 in Sweden and achieved sales of €192m in the last fiscal year ending January 2017. It has achieved average annual revenue growth of 10% since 2013.

Robert Van Goethem, Partner & Head of Consumer at 3i, commented:
“Hans Anders is a successful company, led by a first class management team, with exciting growth potential. The European optical retail market remains heavily fragmented and we believe there are significant opportunities for Hans Anders as a leading player in the value-for-money segment. We look forward to supporting the management team to drive further growth and expand the company’s footprint.”

Remco Boerefijn, who will become CEO of Hans Anders following the transaction, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with 3i. As well as its deep experience and strong track record of supporting retailers in the Benelux and Europe at large, it has an exceptional international network which will greatly benefit Hans Anders. 3i also has experience in the optical market which will be very valuable to our partnership.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.


For further information, contact:

3i Group plc
Silvia Santoro
Investor enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3258
Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com

Kathryn van der Kroft
Media enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3021
Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com

Notes to editors:

About 3i Group
3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market private equity and infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com.

About Hans Anders
Founded in 1982, Hans Anders is an international retailer of spectacles, hearing and contact lenses. Hans Anders, the core brand in the group, is the market leader in the Netherlands and has over 400 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.  In Sweden the group operates under the Direkt Optik brand. Hans Anders employs over 1,500 people. For further information, please visit: https://www.hansanders.com.

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

Hits: 19

Categories: News


Meniga raises €7.5M round led by Industrifonden

We are excited to announce that we are leading a €7.5 million equity round in Meniga, a pioneer in digital banking technology globally, reaching more than 40 million users across close to 20 countries. The round enables further expansion into data-driven personal finance, transaction data analytics and card-linked offers for leading banks, in the trillion-dollar financial service sector. 

 The €7.5M equity round is led by Industrifonden with participation from current investors including Velocity Capital and Frumtak Ventures. The investment enables continued development of Meniga’s cutting-edge digital banking platform and strengthens the sales team.

– Meniga has a proven track-record and is in a unique position for further growth as an innovative digital partner to banks and advertisers, transforming the way they use transaction data. We are particularly excited about the opportunities in data-driven digital banking and proud to support the exceptional Meniga team, says Sofia Ericsson Holm, investor at Industrifonden, responsible for the Meniga investment.

Meniga’s digital banking platform helps banks use personal finance data to enrich their online and mobile customer experiences. Founded in 2009, Meniga has pioneered the market for white-label digital banking solutions to become the preferred digital partner to world-leading banks, including Santander, Commerzbank and ING Direct. Meniga’s team is headquartered in London, with offices in Reykjavik as well as Stockholm, where its development team is located.

– We have never seen higher demand for our solutions and innovation capabilities. The funding allows us to accelerate growth and partner with more banks to help them transform the way customers engage with them via digital channels. Industrifonden is a great fit for Meniga and their team brings decades of experience to help us on our journey, says Georg Ludviksson, CEO Meniga.

– Meniga is already working with many of the world’s leading banks and has built a strong reputation as an innovation leader in digital banking at a time when banks are forced to re-think their customer strategy and business models, continues Sofia, who will join Meniga’s board of directors effective immediately.

Hits: 22

Categories: News


Ferd takes stake in online grocery retailer MatHem

Ferd has taken its first ever step in the grocery industry, with Ferd Capital having recently invested SEK 100 million in the Swedish online grocery retailer MatHem.

MatHem is the largest online grocery retailer in Sweden, and reported revenue of nearly SEK 1 billion in 2016.

“We expect to grow by between 30% and 40% this year. The plan is for us to be profitable by the end of the year”, commented Tomas Kull, CEO of MatHem, in an article published in Finansavisen earlier this year. Tomas Kull started the company with his wife.

Scandinavian owners
Ferd invested in MatHem in close collaboration with its largest shareholder, the private equity company Verdane Capital, which owns 36% of the company.

Ferd Capital has invested around SEK 100 million in MatHem, giving it a 6% stake. Denmark’s Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns the international fashion company Bestseller, and Karl-Johan Persson, the majority shareholder in H&M, also invested in MatHem at the same time. The former now owns 21% of the company and the latter 10%, with the company’s founders keeping around 12%.

Founder Tomas Kull is very pleased that Ferd has come on board, particularly because Ferd is a capital-rich owner with a long-term investment horizon that also cares about social responsibility.

“Ferd’s funds will enable us to continue to grow while maintaining quality and launching new projects”, commented Tomas Kull to ICA Nyheter, a specialist Swedish grocery publication.

Big potential
From Ferd Capital’s perspective, MatHem represents an exciting investment in a new industry.

“We are impressed with what MatHem has achieved. The company is growing very strongly while delivering a high-quality service to consumers. Investing in MatHem also represents an opportunity to gain exposure to the grocery market, and specifically to a distribution channel that is growing strongly”, comments Håkon Glimstad Kristiansen, Senior Investment Manager at Ferd Capital.

Håkon Glimstad Kristiansen and his colleague Kristian Eikre, Head of Special Investments at Ferd, worked on the investment case for MatHem together. Kristian Eikre is in no doubt that online grocery retailing represents a big and growing market.

“We don’t think physical shops will disappear, but this is without doubt an enormous market”, comments Kristian.

In connection with the investment, Ferd analysed the online grocery retailing markets in Scandinavia. The conclusion was that Sweden has made much more progress than Norway.

The entire article is available (in Norwegian) here.

Hits: 24

Categories: News


HgCapital announces an investment in Mitratech


HgCapital has announced today an investment in Mitratech, a leading global provider of legal, risk and compliance software serving multinationals and SMEs across Europe and the US. HgCapital will be the lead investor in the new transaction structure, alongside TA Associates and the management team at Mitratech. The terms of this transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1987, Mitratech offers mission critical enterprise legal management (“ELM”) and enterprise risk management (“ERM”) software; its flagship product offering is a sector leading and award-winning legal matter management and spend management platform for large corporate legal departments, enabling customers to manage their internal workflows, documents (“system of record”), deadlines and communications, as well as providing an e-billing solution to collaborate with external legal advisors on budgeting and invoicing. Today the company provides legal, compliance, and operational risk solutions to 1,200 corporations across the globe with more than 500,000 users in over 160 countries. Its operations are supported by offices in the US, UK, and Australia.

This investment by the HgCapital TMT team follows many years of experience in the regulatory-driven business software space. Mitratech demonstrates many of the business model characteristics that HgCapital looks for, including: a business-critical product; a high proportion of repeatable revenues; strong customer loyalty; an opportunity for M&A; and a strong management team with a proven track record in both organic and M&A-led growth.

“We are delighted to be working with Jason Parkman and his talented management team, alongside TA Associates,” said Jean-Baptiste Brian, a Director in the HgCapital TMT team. “HgCapital has a strong track record of successful investments in regulatory compliance-driven software companies. We are impressed with the excellent progress Mitratech has made in establishing itself as a global player in this sector, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth going forward.”

“TA Associates has been a strong partner for us over the past 18 months, and an important part of our unprecedented recent growth. We look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come,” said Jason Parkman, Mitratech CEO. “Our new partnership with HgCapital brings us additional strength to fuel our growth in legal and risk management generally, as well as the focus to accelerate our current momentum of international expansion. The combination of these two strategic investors provides more access to global resources and enables us to invest even more to deliver innovation and value for our clients.”

“Since forming our strategic partnership with Mitratech in September 2015, it has been a pleasure to partner with Jason Parkman and his team,” said Hythem El-Nazer, a Managing Director at TA Associates. “The business has more than doubled during our partnership and, more importantly, Mitratech has solidified itself as a leader in the Enterprise Legal and Risk Management software market. We look forward to continuing to support Mitratech and partnering with HgCapital as the business continues to expand globally.”

Hits: 15

Categories: News


Cerelia acquires English Bay Batter


Cerelia acquires English Bay Batter

French food company Cerelia, leading producer of ready-to-bake dough and ready-to- heat pancakes in Europe, supported by the IK VII Fund since 2015, is accelerating its development through the acquisition of English Bay Batter, the North American cookie specialist.

The merger will create an international group able to meet the needs of its historical clients by offering an enlarged range of products through three different distribution channels: Retail, In-store Bakery and Food-service.

Founded in 1983 by Jack Seguin in Vancouver, English Bay Batter (EBB) has developed a unique know-how producing cookies, muffins, brownies and other pastries. The company’s products are widely distributed in the US and Canada through Retail and Food-service channels. Building on its raw and cooked frozen products expertise, EBB recently and successfully launched a range of refrigerated dough products.

The acquisition is consistent with Cerelia’s growth strategy, based on the pooling of skills and market expertise. As part of the Cerelia group, EBB will further its development in the US and Canada thanks to substantial investment plans aimed at supporting innovation and industrial transformation. Conversely, EBB’s expertise in its market will enable Cerelia to broaden its product offering in Europe and Asia.

Cerelia’s CEO Guillaume Réveilhac is enthusiastic about this acquisition: “English Bay Batter is a leading player in North America, which is a strategic market for Cerelia. Our two companies’ DNAs are comparable in all respects. We are happy to welcome the EBB team, knowing that our group is initiating a new phase of development.”

“After two build-up acquisitions in Europe completed by Cerelia in the past 18 months – Bioderij in the Netherlands in 2015 and BakeAway in the UK n 2016, the acquisition of EBB is a key milestone in its plan for growth to accelerate its development in North America, adding local manufacturing capabilities, existing customer relationships and a deep market understanding to Cerelia’s innovation capabilities. Combined sales of the group to reach over 400 million euros” said Rémi Buttiaux, Partner at IK Investment Partners.

This acquisition is fully funded through a senior debt issuance as part of a full refinancing of its current debt package. Due to the solid track record of Cerelia and a favourable debt market, the company significantly improves its financing terms and documentation.

Cerelia was advised by Lincoln International, Stikeman Elliott / Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Bain Consulting throughout the acquisition process. Lazard and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised Cerelia throughout the debt refinancing process. Bank of Ireland, BNP Paribas, Crédit Mutuel CIC, Crédit Agricole CIB, ING, Natixis and Société Générale arrange the new senior debt financing.

The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

For any questions, please contact:

Marianne Szychowski
Executive assistant to the CEO
Phone: +33 (0)3 21 72 75 75

IK Investment Partners
Mikaela Hedborg
Director Communications & ESG
Phone: +44 77 87 573 566

About Cerelia
Cerelia is the European leader in the production of ready-made doughs and pancakes, with sales of over 300 million euros in 2017. Cerelia offers a large range of products: rolled dough, pizza dough, pastries, crepes and pancakes. Cerelia has launched an organic line, and also offers gluten-free and lactose-free products. Cerelia’s products are commercialized under its clients’ brands, both retailers and industrial companies, as well as under its own brands: Croustipate, Jan, Pop Bakery and Creapan in particular. To learn more, visit www.cerelia.com and www.bioderij.nl

About English Bay Batter
Founded in 1983, English Bay Batter is a producer of ready to bake dough and other cooked products in the US and Canada. Product offering mainly consists in cookies, croissants, muffins, brownies, biscuits and pie crusts. Like Cerelia’s, EBB’s products find their origin in traditional as well as in specific production (gluten-free, GMO-free etc.). Based in Vancouver (British Columbia), the company employs 430 people across four industrial sites in Vancouver, Toronto and Columbus (Ohio/USA). EBB has developed long-term commercial relationships with clients across four main distribution channels: Retail (through private label), In-store bakeries, QSRs and Food-service. To learn more, visit www.englishbaycookies.com

About IK Investment Partners
IK Investment Partner is a pan-European private equity firm investing across Northern Europe, the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), France and Benelux. Since 1989, IK has raised over 9 billion euros in capital and invested in over 100 companies in Europe. IK invests alongside management teams in mid-size companies benefitting from strong growth potential and operating in four core sectors: services, care, industrial goods and consumer goods. To learn more, visit www.ikinvest.com

Hits: 34

Categories: News