Kinnevik agrees to divest shares in Qliro Group


Kinnevik AB(publ)(“Kinnevik”) today announced that it has agreed to divest 36,021,945 shares in Qliro Group AB (“QliroGroup”) to Rite Ventures, corresponding to 23.2percent of the shares in Qliro Group. As partial payment for thesold Qliro Group shares, Kinnevik will receive up to 47,439 shares in MatHem i Sverige AB (“MatHem”), corresponding to 0.5percentof the total number of shares in MatHem. The balance will be paid through a promissory note from Rite Ventures, which under some circumstances provides for a purchase price adjustment. The total consideration that Kinnevik expects to record in its financial statements immediately after closing of the transaction corresponds toSEK 195m.After the transaction, Rite Ventures will hold 29.9 percent of the shares in Qliro Group.

In connection with the transaction, other MatHem shareholders may also sell a portion of their MatHem shares to Kinnevikin exchange for Qliro Groupshares. If a sufficient number of MatHem shareholders exchange their shares, Kinnevik may come to divest its remaining stake of approximately 4 percent in Qliro Group through such exchange. Final completion of the transaction is subject to approval from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and closing is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2020.

For further information, visitwww.kinnevik.comor contact:Torun Litzén, Director Investor Relations

Phone +46 (0)70 762 00 50Email

Kinnevik is an industry focused investment company with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our purpose is to make people’s lives better by providing more and better choice. In partnership with talented founders and management teams we build challenger businesses that use disruptive technology to address material, everyday consumer needs. As active owners, we believe in delivering both shareholder and social valueby building long-term sustainable businesses that contribute positively to society. We invest in Europe, with a focus on the Nordics, the US, and selectively in other markets. Kinnevik was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. Kinnevik’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm’s list for large cap companies under the ticker codes KINV A and KINV B.

Categories: News


Hellman & Friedman purchases Partners Group’s minority equity stake in Action


3i Group plc (“3i”) yesterday announced that it is facilitating a transaction that will provide liquidity to limited partners in EuroFund V,who need to exit as the fund comes to the end of its life,through a sale of their interest in Action to new 3i-managed entities backed by existing investors in EuroFund V, new investors and by 3i.

This transaction values Action at an enterprise value of €10.25 billion and is expected to close in January 2020.Since that announcement,Partners Group,on behalf of its clients,has announced that it has agreed to sell its minority equity stak ein Action to Hellman & Friedman, in a separate transactionat the same valuation.


For further information, contact:3i Group plc Silvia Santoro

Investor enquiries Kathryn van der Kroft

Media enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3258 Email: Tel: +44 20 7975 3021 Email:

Notes to editors:

About 3i Group3i 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:

Categories: News


A strong 2018 for Action: 23% sales growth and 230 stores added in 7 European countries


Highlights 2018
(unaudited, amounts in € millions)
2018 2017 2018 vs
Net sales 4,216 3,418 +23.3%
LfL sales growth1 3.2% 5.3%
Operating EBITDA2 450 387 +16.3%
Number of stores 1,325 1,095 +230
Number of employees3 46,000 41,000 +5,000

1 Calculated on stores open for more than 12 months 
2 Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and non-recurring items
3 Number of employees as of 31 December, rounded in thousands

Sander van der Laan, CEO, commenting on the 2018 results:
2018 was another successful year for Action showing strong growth driven by 3.2% like-for-like sales growth and the addition of 230 stores. Our continued success underlines the strength of the Action customer proposition of a broad, surprising and ever-changing product range at the lowest price. During 2018, we have accelerated our pipeline of five new distribution centres (DCs) and invested in our organisational and supply chain infrastructure to support the strong growth of our customer proposition, store network and expansion into new countries. Action remains focused on its international growth strategy with the ambition to become a €10 billion sales company over the medium term.”

Adrian Bellamy, Chairman of the Board of Directors:

“The fundamentals of Action’s proposition and business model remain compelling. Action performed very well last year particularly considering the significant challenges facing many of the retail concepts across our markets, and I would like to express the appreciation of the Board to all our employees.  Action will continue to invest in growth and a more resilient supply chain to support this growth.”

Strong financial results

Action performed very well with strong sales growth across all countries. Consolidated net sales totalled €4,216 million, up 23.3% compared to 2017. Healthy like-for-like growth in all our markets resulted in an overall like-for-like sales growth of 3.2%. Operating EBITDA increased by 16.3% to €450 million from €387 million in 2017.

These results were achieved despite a very challenging year for the broader European retail industry – amongst others caused by exceptional weather in the winter, summer and fall of 2018 which affected customer footfall across the entire retail industry in Europe.

Sales were also impacted by a number of specific issues:

  • Operational challenges in our two French DCs which led to availability of stock issues in many stores during the second and third quarters of 2018.
  • The “Gilets Jaunes” protests in the second half of the year and railway strikes (20 days in the first half) which led to reduced sales growth at key times in France.
  • Weather-related delays to the delivery of our two most recent DCs in France and Germany; these DCs are now operational but their delayed opening resulted in a supply chain capacity shortage in the second half of the year which in turn led to a delay in opening 20 stores from quarter 4 2018 to quarter 1 2019 in France.

The supply chain situation is now stabilised and has resulted in a strong performance in France and elsewhere in the final months of 2018. Like-for-like sales growth increased in quarter 4 2018 to a healthy 4.4% overall (above the rate seen in the previous three quarters) with higher and stable stock availability seen across the French network of stores. Strong like-for-like sales growth continued during the first eleven weeks of 2019.

Our gross margin was impacted by stock clearance in two of our categories: Decoration and Garden & Outdoor. The stock level in these categories is now well-balanced.

Our operating expenditures were impacted by:

  • an incremental increase in transportation costs due to the delay in the opening of two new DCs.
  • start-up costs for new DCs.
  • a decrease in productivity of our stores due to the operational challenges in the supply chain.
  • the current labour market confronting us with higher hourly rates.
  • a significant step-up in IT and incremental investments to strengthen the capabilities in our commercial, planning and supply chain teams for future growth.

Following our recapitalisation in March 2018, Action de-geared from 5.5x EBITDA to 4.4x EBITDA during the remainder of the year, as a result of strong cash generation and continued profit growth.

International expansion

The Action customer proposition – a broad, surprising and ever-changing product range at the lowest price – continues to be extremely well received in all the markets in which we operate.

Last year, Action added 230 stores and renewed 48 stores. The majority of the new stores were opened in France and Germany. In Poland, the success of our six store pilot, started in 2017 led to the opening of an additional 19 stores in 2018. In 2019, Action will continue with its store roll-out programme in France and Germany and will accelerate its store growth rate in Poland.

Action accelerated its store renewal programme in the Netherlands and Belgium: 48 stores were refurbished, enlarged or relocated in 2018 compared to 27 the year before.

Continuing investment in the Action organisation and supply chain infrastructure

Action continues to invest for future growth with a substantial focus on the organisation and the supply chain infrastructure. Action is accelerating the roll-out of its DC network: Action currently has seven operational DCs including Belleville (F) and Peine (D), which started operations in early 2019. A further three DCs will open before the end of 2020 and will lead to a doubling of the number of DCs over a three year period. This investment will facilitate further store roll-out in existing and new countries.

The DC expansion is being accompanied by the roll-out of new IT systems to support end-to-end supply chain planning and a significant people investment in parallel areas of supply chain infrastructure

Number of stores on December 31,
by geography
2018   2017 2018 vs
The Netherlands 378 367 +11
Belgium & Luxembourg 172 153 +19
Germany 288 216 +72
France 424 335 +89
Austria 38 18 +20
Poland 25 6 +19
Total 1,325 1,095 +230

Action Social Responsibility

Our Action Social Responsibility strategy consists of four building blocks: product, people, environment and citizenship. During 2018 we implemented several initiatives, for example:

  • Product: we finalised our policies for the sourcing of timber and cotton and for the use of chemicals and packaging materials and started the implementation with our suppliers. We increased our number of products with a sustainable quality label such as FSC, UTZ or Oeko-Tex. In addition, we started the phasing out of single use plastic products.
  • People: we created 5,000 jobs and now employ 129 different nationalities. In 2018, we had over 24,000 participants in our training programmes.
  • Environment: we recycle all cardboard and plastic transport packaging. All our new stores and distribution centres will be equipped with energy-saving lights. The new DC in Belleville is BREEAM certified and is equipped with a solar power plant on its roof.
  • Citizenship: as part of our partnership with SOS Children’s villages, we supported over 1,100 children in Asia. This number will be increased to over 1,300 for 2019.


Our annual brochure UPDATE 2018, with an extensive overview of Action in 2018, is now available to download at

Download this press release  

About Action
Action is the fastest-growing international non-food discounter with 1,352 stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and Poland. Action employs 46,000 people. In 2018 total sales were EUR €4.2 billion. Around one third of the more than 6,000 products Action offers is part of our standard range. The rest of the range is dynamic and changes frequently. Action introduces more than 150 new items every week.  Our product range consists of 14 categories: decoration, DIY, toys & entertainment, stationery & hobby, multimedia, household, garden & outdoor, laundry & cleaning, food & drink, personal care, pets, sports, clothing and linen. Action offers private labels and well-known brands. Action is able to charge extremely low prices due to its large scale and efficient purchasing, optimal distribution and the cost-conscious culture across the organisation. Action makes no concessions on the quality, safety or production conditions of our products. Our Action Ethical Sourcing Policy ensures a responsible social and environmental approach to manufacturing.

For further information (not for publication):


Action: Yvette Moll
Tel +31 (0)228 31 17 64



Categories: News


Intertoys files for bankruptcy


  • Shops remain open temporarily
  • Sale of Belgian stores in advanced stage
  • Possible restart to be investigated

Amsterdam, 21 February 2019. The administrators of Intertoys, the Netherlands’ market-leading toy retailer, today requested that the Amsterdam District Court convert the suspension of payments for Intertoys’ activities in the Netherlands into bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy follows the earlier suspension of payments granted by the Amsterdam District Court on 12 February 2019. The court-appointed administrators Joris Lensink (De Vos & Partners) and Jasper Berkenbosch (Jones Day) have been appointed curators by the court to oversee the bankruptcy settlement.

Shops remain open

At the request of the curators, all Intertoys stores will remain open. This is not least because the administrators will seek to include (part of) the Intertoys activities in a potential restart. To that end, the curators are in discussions with various parties.

Implications of bankruptcy

The bankruptcy means that debts prior to the date of the suspension of payments will not be reimbursed. The curators will now focus on the wind-down of the business, the sale of activities and the settlement of Intertoys’ responsibilities. In that process the curators will represent the interests of the creditors, as well as other parties involved such as employees, franchisees, and suppliers, and will seek to retain as many jobs, shops and franchisees as possible through a (partial) restart.

All obligations explicitly incurred by the administrators during the suspension of payments will be honoured. Salaries of employees will also be paid. In total, approximately 3,200 employees (1,600 FTE), spread across 286 stores in the Netherlands, 2 distribution centres and the service centre in Amsterdam, fall under the bankruptcy. The more than 100 franchisee stores in the Netherlands, and the Belgian activities, are exempt from the bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy includes the previously announced cooling-off period of two months for suppliers. Suppliers with retention of title can therefore NOT collect goods they have delivered. Any valid retention of title will continue to be respected.


Intertoys is in talks that are at an advanced stage to sell Belgian activities operating under the name Bart Smit Speelgoedpaleizen België N.V.. The sale is expected to be completed in the short term.

Cause of bankruptcy

The far-reaching step reflects continuing pressure on the entire retail sector. Increasing online sales have reduced toy store sales by 50% in ten years. Also, specialist stores like Intertoys have faced increasing competition from discounters outside the traditional toy market.

Today’s announcement follows a wide range of investments and initiatives in the past 14 months to improve Intertoys’ performance. Among those were the appointment of new and experienced management, the launch of a new IT platform and web store and improved supplier conditions, better inventory management and a clean-up of old stock, and optimising the supply chain.

Next Steps

The curators will now commence settlement and a possible restart. The curators will publish their first report on this process no later than 21 March 2019. For questions we direct you to the homepage of the Intertoys website

ALTERI INVESTORS 20 Balderton Street, London, W1K 6TL T: +44 (0) 207 318 0570  E:

Categories: News


Fresks acquires XL-BYGG Vetlanda


Fresks continues to expand through the acquisition of XL-Bygg Vetlanda, a builder’s merchant located in Vetlanda in Jönköping county. The current owners, Johan and Catrine Aronsson, will reinvest part of the proceeds from the transaction and become shareholders in Fresks Group.

XL-BYGG Vetlanda (Vetlanda Trävaru AB) was foundedin 1972, at the time operating a plaining mill, and today the business is a focused full-service builder’s merchant with a turnover of approximately SEK 70million.

After the acquisition Fresks Group will have a total of 33 stores with pro forma revenues of approximately SEK 2.2 billion and 530 employees.

The transaction will complete on 15 January 2019.

For further information, please contact:
Leif Lindholm, +46 70 698 27 00, CEO Fresks Group

Fresks, founded in 1862 is a leading Swedish builder’s merchant group. The company has 33 stores under various local brands whereof the majority is branded XL-BYGG. Fresks sells high quality building material with high degree of service primarily to small and mid-sized professional customers. For more information, please visit

Categories: News


Gaw Capital Partners and Consortium Partners Win Bid to Acquire 12 Shopping Centers in Hong Kong

Gaw Capital

December 12, 2018, Hong Kong – Gaw Capital Partners today announced that the firm, through a fund under its management, and consortium partners, including Goldman Sachs, have won a bid to acquire a retail portfolio comprising 12 shopping centers in Hong Kong from Link Asset Management Limited at HK$ 12.01 billion and an average price of around HK$7,839 per sq. ft. excluding parking.

The portfolio is comprised of a number of strategically-located properties across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories that sit in the heart of densely-populated communities. The GFA of the portfolio totals 1.1 million sq. ft. of prime retail space and comes with over 4,700 parking spaces that are connected to highly-convenient transport links. Their excellent accessibility and holistic shopping environments have made them attractive destinations for retailers and hubs of community life for residents.

The shopping centers included in the portfolio are: Retail and Car Park within Ap Lei Chau Estate, Chun Shek Shopping Centre, Fortune Shopping Centre, King Lam Shopping Centre, Lei Tung Commercial Centre, Ming Tak Shopping Centre, Shan King Commercial Centre, Siu Hei Commercial Centre, Retail and Car Park within Tai Ping Estate, Wah Ming Shopping Centre, Wah Sum Shopping Centre, Wang Tau Hom (Wang Fai Centre).

Goodwin Gaw, Chairman and Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners, said, “We and our partners are confident about Hong Kong’s future, and believe these malls will continue to serve important functions in the community. Followed by the bid we won together with our consortium partners to acquire 17 shopping malls in 2017, we will further leverage our experience to evolve these malls into refreshed and renewed centers of local life and collaborate with the local NGOs and existing tenants to build a better neighborhood for themselves.”

Kenneth Gaw, President and Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners, commented, “We worked closely with the community over the past 12 months and implemented a series of initiatives to better make use of these malls for the community. We look forward to applying our expertise in repositioning commercial property to add significant strategic value to this additional portfolio.”

Gaw Capital has over 13 years of experience investing in and/or turning around commercial properties in Greater China, including Hong Kong. The firm successfully transformed and repositioned properties such as 133 Wai Yip Street in Hong Kong, a former 12-storey industrial building turned creative office space; Sky Bridge HQ, a mixed-use project located in the heart of Linkong Economic Park in Shanghai; Pacific Century Place in Beijing, a 170,000 sqm (1.8 million sq. ft.) renovated mixed-use commercial property with two office towers and two serviced apartment blocks on a retail podium; Cross Tower in Shanghai, a 22-storey office with a two-storey retail podium; Ciro’s Plaza in Shanghai, a mixed-use property with a 39-storey office building and a 28,000 sqm (302,000 sq. ft.) retail mall; Plaza 353 in Shanghai, a 40,000 sqm (430,000 sq. ft.) renovated mall with historical heritage status; Popark Plaza in Guangzhou, a 92,400 sqm (994,000 sq. ft.) retail mall connected to the Guangzhou East Railway Station, with high-speed trains to Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and access to two major subway lines; and Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou, a 88,800 sqm (956,000 sq. ft.) mall located above two subway lines.

Categories: News


Fresks acquires XL-BYGG Mellerud


Fresks continues to expand through the acquisition of XL-Bygg Mellerud, a building material store located in Mellerud, Västra Götaland. The previous owner, Benny Mattsson, will reinvest a significant part of the proceeds from the transaction in Fresks Group.

XL-BYGG Mellerud was founded in 2008 and has been run by Benny Mattsson and his son Thomas Mattsson since 2012. The business consists of the building store in Mellerud, which is located in Dalsland county in Västra Götaland. The store is a part of the XL-BYGG chain. Today, the company has 8 employees and a turnover of approximately SEK 30 million.

After the acquisition Fresks Group will have a total of 32 stores with pro forma revenues of approximately SEK 2 billion and more than 500 employees.

For further information, please contact:

Leif Lindholm, +46 70 698 27 00, CEO Fresks Group

Fresks, founded in 1862 is a leading Swedish building material retail chain in Sweden focused on the professional segment. The company has 32 stores under various local brands whereof the majority is branded XL-BYGG. Fresks sells high quality building material with high degree of service primarily to small and mid-sized professional customers. For more information, please visit

Categories: News


Kinnevik invests in – the leading online grocery store in Norway


Kinnevik AB (publ) (“Kinnevik”) today announced that it has invested NOK 300m in AS for a 15% stake in the Norwegian online grocery retailer.

Kinnevik invested NOK 200m in primary capital and a further NOK 100m in secondary shares. was founded in 2013 and offers grocery delivery to approximately 40% of Norwegian households, a share that they expect to expand over time. The company grew revenues by 88% to approximately NOK 800m in 2017.

Andreas Bernström, Kinnevik Investment Director, commented:

“We are excited to lead the funding round in, a company that fits squarely into our investment thesis of using technology to offer consumers more and better choice. We have been impressed by the founding team and what they have achieved in a relatively short period of time. Kinnevik is well placed to support the team in scaling the business and we look forward to working with to reach their goals.”

Karl Munthe-Kaas, CEO commented:

“Kinnevik is a dream partner for us. We feel there is a great fit in both the strategic vision and the values of our companies. Our ambition is to make grocery shopping an effortless and inspiring activity for everyone and bring freedom in their everyday lives. Kinnevik has the right expertise and the right mindset to help us in this journey and we are very excited to work with them.”

For further information, visit or contact:

Torun Litzén, Director Investor Relations
Phone +46 (0)70 762 00 50

Kinnevik is an industry focused investment company with an entrepreneurial spirit. Our purpose is to build digital businesses that provide more and better choice. We do this by working in partnership with talented founders and management teams to create, develop and invest in fast growing businesses in developed and emerging markets. We believe in delivering both shareholder and social value by building companies that contribute positively to society. Kinnevik was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. Kinnevik’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm’s list for large cap companies under the ticker codes KINV A and KINV B.

Categories: News


Agreement signed with Thomas Meyer for the sale of Eurazeo’s stake in Desigual


Paris, August 2, 2018 – Eurazeo announces today that it has signed an agreement with Thomas Meyer,
the founder and controlling shareholder of Desigual, the Spanish apparel retailer, to sell him its 10% stake
in the company.

Since its investment in 2014, Eurazeo has strongly supported the strategic transformation of Desigual
through the promotion of a new brand image, its digital channel, the expansion in Latin America, the
optimization of the distribution network as well as through a strengthening of the company’s governance.
After four years of mutual cooperation, the joint owners have decided that, given the market environment
and their respective timeframes and objectives, it is in their and Desigual‘s best interests that Thomas
Meyer become the company’s sole shareholder.
This sale will generate net proceeds of €141.9 million for Eurazeo and its investment partners, and €105.7
million for Eurazeo’s stake representing a return on its initial investment of 0.5x.
About Eurazeo
o With a diversified portfolio of over €16 billion in assets under management, including over €10 billion from
investment partners, Eurazeo is a leading global investment company with offices in Paris and Luxembourg,
New York, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Its purpose and mission is to identify, accelerate and enhance the
transformation potential of the companies in which it invests. The firm covers most private equity segments
through its five investment divisions – Eurazeo Capital, Eurazeo Croissance, Eurazeo PME, Eurazeo
Patrimoine and Eurazeo Brands – and through three Idinvest business divisions: Venture Capital, Private
Debt and Dedicated Portfolio & Funds. Its solid institutional and family shareholder base, robust financial
structure free of structural debt, and flexible investment horizon enable Eurazeo to support its companies over
the long term. As a global long-term shareholder, the firm offers deep sector expertise, a gateway to global
markets, and a stable foothold for transformational growth to the companies it supports.
o Eurazeo is listed on Euronext Paris.
o ISIN: FR0000121121 – Bloomberg: RF FP – Reuters: EURA.PA

Categories: News


AURELIUS acquires Ideal Shopping Direct

Aurelius Capital

Munich/London 24 July 2018 – AURELIUS Alpha Limited, a subsidiary of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) (“AURELIUS” or “the Group”), the listed pan-European mid-market investor, today announces its acquisition of Ideal Shopping Direct (“ISD” or “the company”), one of the UK’s leading multi-channel home shopping retailers, from Blackstone. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With over 600,000 customers and FY17 revenues of £145 mn, Ideal Shopping Direct sources, designs and sells lifestyle and crafting products to consumers via a variety of dedicated interaction channels including TV shopping channels, social media platforms, websites and live events. The company has two flagship channels, Ideal World and Create & Craft which deliver video content across both the UK and the US. ISD employs c.800 people and is headquartered in Peterborough where it has dedicated facilities for the production and transmission of its shows as well as the creation and distribution of products to customers.

Following the acquisition, AURELIUS will work alongside the company’s existing management team to implement a transformation programme focused on driving operational improvement at the business, boost its UK brand recognition and enhance the breadth and quality of its customer offering.

Tristan Nagler, UK Managing Director of AURELIUS, commented: “Ideal Shopping Direct is a dynamic company with a loyal customer base, established infrastructure and strong position in two distinct and growing markets within TV shopping; craft and general merchandise, presenting a compelling investment opportunity for Aurelius. We look forward to working alongside ISD’s experienced management team to provide the operational and financial support needed to help the business meet its potential.”

Bill Adams, CEO of ISD, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with AURELIUS, an investor with proven experience in the craft, TV shopping and omni-channel retail space. Its operational expertise and hands-on approach will significantly benefit ISD as we seek to reposition our business and achieve our growth objectives going forward.”

Categories: News