Baring Private Equity Asia and Alibaba Enter Partnership with The CrownX: Leads USD400mm Investment

Ho Chi Minh City, 18th May 2021 – Masan Group Corporation (HOSE: MSN, “Masan”) and a consortium led by Alibaba Group (“Alibaba”) and Baring Private Equity Asia (“BPEA”) today announced the signing of definitive agreements for the acquisition of a 5.5% stake in The CrownX (“TCX” or the “Company”) for a total cash consideration of USD400 million (the “Transaction”). The CrownX is Masan’s integrated consumer retail arm that consolidates its interests in Masan Consumer Holdings (“MCH”) and VinCommerce (“VCM”). The Transaction implies a pre-money valuation of USD6.9 billion for 100% of its equity, an equivalent of USD93.5 (c. VND 2,150,000) per share. Masan will own 80.2% of the Company post the consortium’s investment.

The formation of The CrownX last year brought together two industry leaders to form a consumer and retail powerhouse. As part of Alibaba’s investment, The CrownX will now partner with Lazada to build the Company’s digital presence and capabilities and accelerate the offline to online (“O2O”) market in Vietnam. With this partnership, the Transaction marks a shared vision across the Company’s shareholders that The CrownX has the potential to establish Vietnam’s first tech-enabled consumer ecosystem and expand its reach to serve consumers nationwide.

This strategic partnership will accelerate our ability to achieve our goal of transforming The CrownX into a one-stop shop to serve consumers’ everyday needs, whether offline or online, “Point of Life”. Our immediate priority is to modernize Vietnam’s grocery market and develop an unparalleled consumer proposition from assortment to shopping experience,” said Danny Le, Chief Executive Officer of Masan Group. “I strongly believe that this partnership will reduce our learning curve and enable us to reach our endgame more efficiently and effectively”.

“The combination of Alibaba’s online retail expertise, Lazada’s e-commerce platform in Vietnam, and Masan’s leading offline network will be a strong catalyst to modernize Vietnam’s retail landscape. We look forward to building a champion offline-to-online platform alongside Masan,” said Kenny Ho, Head of Investment for Southeast Asia, Alibaba Group. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with Masan and Alibaba, and believe this strategic investment has the potential to supercharge The CrownX’s growth in a nascent retail market and create the largest consumer ecosystem in Vietnam. As a long-term investor in the country, we think Vietnam has a long runway for growth supported by strong macroeconomic tailwinds and attractive demographics,” said Janice Leow, Managing Director at BPEA. “The CrownX also has tremendous digital potential, particularly in e-commerce and data analytics. BPEA prioritizes digital transformation in all of our portfolio companies, and we look forward to working with the Company in its next stage of growth.”

As a part of the Transaction, VCM will enter a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (“SCA”) with Lazada, Alibaba’s South East Asia e-commerce platform:

  • VCM will be the preferred grocery retailer of choice on Lazada’s e-commerce platform in Vietnam
  • The parties will co-share know-how, co-develop analytics to develop grocery as a key online category
  • Transform VCM’s offline stores into pick-up points for online orders
  • Explore synergies between the respective parties’ logistics platforms for service and cost optimization for consumers

Grocery accounts for 50% of Vietnam’s retail market and 25% of consumer wallet share and is of essential daily use, but online penetration is still nascent. Masan has aspirations for The CrownX’s online Gross Merchandise Value to account for at least 5% of its total sales value in the upcoming years.

Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Masan Group. Deutsche Bank acted as the exclusive financial advisor to BPEA. The Transaction closing is subject to customary corporate approvals.

Masan is also in advanced discussions regarding a further strategic investment of USD300 – 400 million into The CrownX from other investors, expected to close in 2021.

MASAN GROUP CORPORATION

Masan Group Corporation (“Masan”) believes in doing well by doing good. The Company’s mission is to provide better products and services to the 100 million people of Vietnam so that they can pay less for their daily basic needs. Masan aims to achieve this by driving productivity with technological innovations, trusted brands, and focusing on fewer but bigger opportunities that impact the most lives.

Masan Group’s member companies and associates are industry leaders in branded food and beverages, branded meat, value-add chemical processing, and financial services, altogether representing segments of Vietnam’s economy that are experiencing the most transformational growth.

BARING PRIVATE EQUITY ASIA

Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) is one of the largest private alternative investment firms in Asia, with assets under management of USD23 billion. BPEA manages a private equity investment program, sponsoring buyouts and providing growth capital to companies for expansion or acquisitions with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region, as well as dedicated funds focused on private real estate and private credit. The firm has a 24-year history and over 200 employees located across offices in Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and the US.

BPEA is a responsible investor that seeks to create value for all stakeholders through a sustainable approach to investing. The Firm is a signatory to the UNPRI (United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment) and is committed to action within its own business and the companies in which it invests to drive sustainability across a range of issues, from climate change to social concerns to effective governance.

For more information, please visit www.bpeasia.com.

ALIBABA GROUP

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a good company that lasts for 102 years.

THE CROWN X

The CrownX is a consumer-retail platform that currently consolidates Masan’s interests in MCH and VCM. The company was established with the vision to become a “Point of Life” platform in order to provide more products and services to Vietnamese consumers online and offline.

CONTACTS:

Investors/Analysts

Tanveer Gill
T: +84 28 6256 3862
E: tanveer@msn.masangroup.com

Media

Van Pham
T: +84 90 9216 292
E: vanpth@msn.masangroup.com

For BPEA

Fergus Herries
T : +852 5970 3618
E : fergus.herries@newgate.asia

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Masan’s expectations, intentions or strategies that may involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements, including Masan’s expectations, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond Masan’s control, which may cause Masan’s actual results of operations, financial condition, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions, future events or promises of future performance.

 

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Alteri Investors bolsters senior team across investment and operations; expects increase in transaction opportunities

Alteri
  • Charlie Edwards (ex Caledonia Investments) to lead Alteri’s UK deal generation
  • Additional new hires further strengthen Alteri’s investment and operational expertise
  • Increased transaction opportunities anticipated as retail sector transitions into the ‘next normal’

London, 14th April 2021: Alteri Investors, the specialist investor in the European retail sector, today announces the appointment of Charlie Edwards as UK Investment Director.  Charlie joins from Caledonia Investments where he led multiple investments over the last 10 years with a focus on UK MBOs.  Prior to Caledonia, he spent eight years at KPMG, principally in Restructuring and Transaction Services.  Charlie will lead the generation, execution and management of Alteri’s UK deals.

Charlie’s appointment follows a number of other new hires, as Alteri further develops its operational expertise, extends its analytical capabilities and enhances its organisational effectiveness. Namely, Raul Portela (ex Helly Hansen, Triumph and Burberry) joined last year as Operating Partner alongside Antoine Laffont (ex Jefferies) and Borja Rosales (ex Rothschild), who joined as Associates.  Martin Bavinton (ex Oakley Capital) was appointed as General Counsel and Compliance Officer earlier this year.

Commenting on the appointments, CEO Gavin George said, “We have assembled a world-class team with real strength in depth across our investment and operations teams.  Our highly successful first fund underlined our ability to help retailers transform into thriving digitally-led businesses.  Now, with plenty of dry powder remaining in our second investment vehicle Alteri II, we are looking forward to partnering with management teams of retail businesses, as they emerge from the toughest 12 months the sector has ever seen.”

Charlie Edwards added, “I am really excited to join the team and help it build on its previous success. As the UK retail sector transitions to the ‘next normal’ post Covid, there will be some really exciting investment opportunities ahead with great value creation potential.”

Contact: Maitland/AMO

Clinton Manning, Sam Cartwright 020 7379 5151

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HL Display acquires CoolPresentation to improve market position in the Netherlands

Ratos

HL Display is acquiring CoolPresentation, a provider of shelf merchandising solutions for grocery retail in the Netherlands. The acquisition will strengthen HL’s customer base and position as a leading supplier for in-store merchandising and communication solutions to grocery retailers in Europe.

HL Display is strengthening its market position through the acquisition of CoolPresentation, a provider of shelf merchandising solutions based in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. The company has an annual sale of around €4m. Founded in 1997, CoolPresentation has built a strong position in Dutch retail, providing high quality products and service levels to both grocery retail, pharmacies and brand suppliers.

“Since the founding in 1997, CoolPresentation has grown into a well-established supplier of shelf merchandising in Dutch food retail,” says Björn Borgman, CEO of HL Display. “Their passion for retail and excellent service levels make CoolPresentation a perfect fit for HL. Furthermore, merging both companies’ product ranges will create a strong offer to an expanded customer base which will support our market position as a leading supplier of in-store communication and merchandising solutions for the grocery industry.”

“With the acquisition of the CoolPresentation we gain access to new customers in the Netherlands and consolidate the market further enabling both production and other synergies. The acquisition is another step in HLs journey to further strengthen its market leadership position across Europe, with both organic and inorganic growth,” says Joakim Twetman, Head of Business Area Industry, Ratos.

The acquisition was completed on 1st of April 2021.

For further information, please contact:
Joakim Twetman, Head of Business Area Industry, Ratos
+46 70 339 16 66
joakim.twetman@ratos.com

Björn Borgman, CEO, HL Display
+46 722 64 17 90
Bjorn.Borgman@hl-display.com

 

About HL Display:
HL Display is a global leader in in-store merchandising and communication solutions, helping customers to create a better shopping experience around the world. Founded in 1954, HL today is present in more than 70 countries and solutions can be found in 295,000 stores, helping customers to grow sales, inspire shoppers, drive automation, and reduce waste. The HL Display Group has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and sales companies covering 26 markets as well as distributor partners covering the remaining markets globally. The company has 1,000 employees and net sales of 1,520 MSEK.

About Ratos:
Ratos is a business group consisting of 11 companies divided into three business areas: Construction & Services, Consumer & Technology and Industry. In total, the companies have SEK 33 billion in sales. Our business concept is to develop companies headquartered in the Nordics that are or can become market leaders. We enable independent companies to excel by being part of something larger. People, leadership, culture and values are key focus areas for Ratos. Everything we do is based on Ratos’s core values: Simplicity, Speed in Execution and It’s All About People.

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Landers Superstore partners with CVC as it targets expansion of its branch network

CVC Capital Partners

Investment from CVC Capital Partners Asia V will improve the membership experience and accelerate new store rollouts

Landers Superstore (“Landers”), one of the fastest growing large-format retailers in the Philippines, has partnered with CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) as it accelerates its expansion in the Philippine market. Landers has rapidly grown to a network of five branches with more than 45,000 sqm of retail space in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. From its opening in 2016, Landers has consistently surpassed its revenue targets, and in 2020 achieved year-on-year growth of 22% despite the pandemic.

The market has responded positively to Landers’ membership-only value centric approach. From offering the best deals at its Chevron branded fuel stations to attractive sales discounts for its members in store, the Landers formula of offering access to thousands of global products at reasonable prices is a winning one for Landers’ growing membership.

CVC has a long track record of strengthening companies’ operations in Asia, having been active in the region for over 20 years. CVC’s global network and partnerships provide Landers with access to key strategic components in the areas of supply chain, technology and retail operations, which will be important for its expansion plans. CVC is well positioned to support this strategy while its experience gained through the successful expansion of BJ’s Wholesale Club in the U.S. will be valuable.

Lowell L. Yu, Chairman of Landers Superstore commented: “Landers Superstore is ready for its next stage of growth which will take Landers’ proposition to more communities nationwide. We are excited to have CVC with us in bringing this world-class, global, shopping experience to more Filipinos in the years to come.”

Brice Cu, Managing Director and Head of the Philippines for CVC Capital Partners said: “Landers’ unique and outstanding value proposition to its members has allowed it to build a strong brand in a short period of time. CVC will leverage its global platform and our extensive experience operating and investing in the consumer and retail sectors to help Landers continue to deliver first class services to all its members. We are delighted to partner with the management team to embark on Landers’ next stage of growth.”

This is the second investment CVC has announced in the Philippines in the last six months, following the investment in Fast Logistics Group in December 2020.

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KKR and Rakuten Complete Seiyu Share Purchase from Walmart

KKR
March 1, 2021

Shareholders Officially Confirm Mr. Tsuneo Okubo as Seiyu CEO

TOKYO & BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– KKR, Rakuten, Inc., (“Rakuten”) and Walmart Inc. (“Walmart”) today announced that KKR and Rakuten subsidiary, Rakuten DX Solution, have completed their previously announced share purchases in Seiyu GK (“Seiyu” or the “Company”) from Walmart.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210228005079/en/

With the completion of the transactions, KKR owns a 65% stake in Seiyu and Rakuten DX Solution owns a 20% stake in the Company. Walmart retains a 15% stake in Seiyu. KKR is making its investment from its Asia private equity fund.

The new ownership structure enables Seiyu to take advantage of KKR, Rakuten and Walmart’s combined retail expertise and innovation, in addition to accelerating Seiyu’s digital transformation to become Japan’s leading omnichannel retailer.

KKR, Rakuten and Walmart are committed to supporting Seiyu’s growth and long-term strategy in Japan and look to build on Seiyu’s success as a local-value retailer of choice. In 2020, Seiyu achieved its highest sales and profitability levels of the last decade, with net sales growing by 5.6% to JPY785 billion1. This generated an EBITDA2 margin of nearly 5%. Over the past two consecutive fiscal years, Seiyu gained market share and improved profitability. Cumulatively over this period, Seiyu comparative-store sales grew 180 basis points faster than the market3 and EBITDA increased by nearly 40%. In addition, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, jointly operated by Seiyu and Rakuten, recorded a nearly 40% year-on-year increase in gross merchandise sales in the fourth quarter of 2020. With the significant increase in demand for online supermarkets in recent years, a dedicated fulfillment center began operations in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture in January 2021, and a new fulfillment center is scheduled to open in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture within the year to meet this growing demand.

Today, the shareholders additionally confirmed the appointment of Mr. Tsuneo Okubo as CEO of Seiyu to lead the Company into its next phase of development and growth, effective immediately. Mr. Okubo’s decades-long career in Japan’s retail sector includes senior roles for national supermarket chains. He brings to Seiyu a strong track record of elevating corporate strategies and performance through digital innovation, enhancing the operations of physical stores, and localizing businesses to meet the evolving needs of shoppers in communities across Japan.

Mr. Okubo said, “I am thrilled to be joining Seiyu at such an important moment in its history. Together with KKR, Rakuten and Walmart, we have a tremendous opportunity to build on Seiyu’s achievements and stature in the market to take its business to the next level of success. Looking ahead, we are excited to accelerate Seiyu’s digital transformation to better meet the evolving shopping needs of our customers while continuing to expand on strong in-store presence in communities across Japan. I want to thank my predecessor, Lionel Desclée, for his leadership, and I look forward to working with our talented team of associates to build on Seiyu’s progress to become Japan’s leading omnichannel retailer.”

About Seiyu:

Established in 1963, Seiyu is a nationwide supermarket chain in Japan with more than 300 retail units. Through its supermarket and hypermarket formats and Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper delivery service, Seiyu offers customers a broad assortment including fresh food, general merchandise, and apparel products across Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu. Offering Everyday Low Prices to our customers, Seiyu contributes to making their everyday life more convenient as a leading, innovative, local value retailer, now powered by KKR, Rakuten and Walmart.

About KKR:

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About Rakuten:

Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses, and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to approximately 1.4 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 20,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About Rakuten DX Solution:

Rakuten DX Solution is a new Rakuten Group subsidiary established in January 2021 to support the digital transformation of brick-and-mortar retailers across Japan and to promote the merger of offline and online retail (OMO) in order to serve customers with a seamless and personalized retail experience.

About Walmart:

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmart.

 


1 As of Fiscal Year 2020, ending December 31, 2020
2 EBITDA = Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization.
3 According to data compiled by the Japan Supermarket Association, National Supermarket Association of Japan and the All Japan Supermarket Association.

Seiyu
Corporate Affairs +813-3598-7760

KKR
KKR Asia Pacific
Anita Davis
+852 3602 7335
Anita.Davis@kkr.com

Finsbury (for KKR Japan)
Deborah Hayden, +81 70 2492 0463
Hannah Perry, +81 70 3769 9633
FinsburyKKRJapan@finsbury.com

KKR Americas
Kristi Huller, Cara Major, Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
+1 212 750-8300
Media@kkr.com

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com

Walmart
Blake Jackson
+1 479 204-1028
blake.jackson@walmart.com

Source: KKR, Rakuten, Inc.

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Consortium of Parcom and Mississippi Ventures reaches final agreement on acquisition HEMA

Parcom

Today, the consortium consisting of Parcom and Mississippi Ventures, together with HEMA and HEMA Secured Bondholders , announce that they have reached a final agreement on the acquisition of all outstanding shares of HEMA. On October 21, the parties announced a preliminary agreement. It stipulated that the consortium was allowed to conduct due diligence investigations on an exclusive basis and to secure financing by Dutch banks. These steps have now been completed to satisfaction of all parties involved. The HEMA Works Council has rendered a positive advice about the agreement. The capital structure will be submitted to the Works Council for their advice. Competition approval will also be sought from the relevant authorities. Parties expect to complete the transaction in February 2021, after which HEMA will share plans for a healthy future under the new ownership.

Tjeerd Jegen, HEMA: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone for HEMA, as the bank financing was a crucial condition for the successful conclusion of the acquisition. When we finalize the transaction early 2021, we will not only have a healthy financial situation with a significantly decreased debt level and ample room to invest in our future development, but we will also have very supportive new long term owners providing HEMA with a stable operating platform going forward. We look forward to this next stage in the development of HEMA, and are confident that this transaction is in the best interest of all our stakeholders. With this agreement we can once again fully focus on the future, and on delivering fantastic products to our customers.”

Frits van Eerd, Mississippi Ventures: “We are proud to be given the opportunity to acquire the beautiful, Dutch company HEMA. And we particularly appreciate the support of the three major Dutch banks ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank in this transaction. Together we will prepare HEMA for a new phase, while retaining the special character of the brand and the people: good value for money, the appealing atmosphere and the signature design. We realize that we are in uncertain times, but we are convinced of a bright future for HEMA and we are incredibly excited to be part of this.”

Bas Becks, Parcom: “The resilience and perseverance of HEMA employees over the past period deserves nothing but praise and appreciation. We are incredibly proud to be part of HEMA’s future. We have come to this agreement at a pivotal time for HEMA. Together with the Van Eerd family, we will do our utmost to support the brand and the people of HEMA, continuing to build on a solid foundation.”

Calmer waters
Parcom and Mississippi Ventures emphasize that they have great appreciation for the drive of HEMA management, until recently together with Ramphastos Investments of Marcel Boekhoorn, leading its retail operations through very turbulent times. The discussions about the proposed share transaction between Parcom, Mississippi Ventures and HEMA took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere. All stakeholders expect HEMA to enter into calmer waters soon, so that the company can achieve further healthy growth.

For further information or enquiries, please contact:
On behalf of the consortium of Parcom and Mississippi Ventures:

On behalf of Mississippi Ventures
• Claire Trügg
• Phone: +31623403457
• E-mail: claire.trugg@jumbo.com

On behalf of Parcom
• Sabine Post-de Jong
• Phone: +31639576367
• E-mail: sabine.post@confidantpartners.com

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KKR and Rakuten to Acquire Stakes in Seiyu from Walmart, Focus on Accelerating Digital Transformation of Japanese Retail: Seiyu Positioned to Become Japan’s Leading Omnichannel Retailer

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KKR

November 15, 2020

  • KKR to purchase majority stake and new Rakuten subsidiary to acquire minority stake in Seiyu
  • Walmart to retain 15% stake and work with KKR and Rakuten to accelerate Seiyu’s digital transformation to become Japan’s leading omnichannel retailer
  • The complementary retail expertise KKR and Rakuten bring, including track records of driving growth in e-commerce and digital marketing platforms across the globe, will help Seiyu become the local, innovative, value retailer of choice
  • This transaction reflects Walmart’s commitment to building strong, local businesses by bringing together the right parties in the right structure to meet unique market needs

TOKYO & BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Walmart Inc. (“Walmart”), KKR & Co. Inc. (“KKR”) and Rakuten, Inc., (“Rakuten”) today announced the signing of definitive agreements under which KKR will purchase a majority stake and a new Rakuten subsidiary will purchase a minority stake in Seiyu GK (“Seiyu” or the “Company”) in a deal valuing the business at ¥172.5 billion (approx. $1.6 billion).

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201115005157/en/

Under the terms of the agreements, KKR will acquire a 65% stake in Seiyu, and Rakuten will acquire a 20% stake, through a newly created subsidiary focused on retailer digital transformation. Walmart will retain a 15% stake in Seiyu. The new ownership structure enables Seiyu to take advantage of KKR, Rakuten and Walmart’s combined retail expertise and innovation as a standalone company and accelerate its digital transformation to further benefit both Seiyu’s customers and business partners.

KKR, Rakuten and Walmart are committed to supporting Seiyu’s growth and this unique ownership structure reflects a shared belief in Seiyu’s long-term strategy in Japan. Last year, Seiyu launched an ambitious strategy to accelerate growth through a more concerted focus on providing value, fresh produce and digital convenience to customers. The Company has already met or exceeded operational and financial goals across key areas, including market share, customer satisfaction, associate engagement and financial performance. Together, the three companies look to bring complementary strengths to build on Seiyu’s momentum and support its efforts to become Japan’s leading omnichannel retailer.

KKR and Rakuten’s investment in Seiyu is further intended to deliver a range of substantial benefits over time for the Company’s customer base, including:

  • Accelerated investment in digital channels to facilitate app-based shopping, payment and delivery services;
  • Introduction of new options for cashless payment;
  • Improved service experience across both online and offline channels; and
  • Enhanced product offering at everyday low prices to stay ahead of its customers’ shopping needs.

KKR will bring its deep expertise in the Japanese market to Seiyu, in addition to its decades-long track record of investing in the subsidiaries of large corporations and empowering them to unlock their potential as successful, independent companies. KKR will further leverage its sector and operational expertise to enhance Seiyu’s retail transformation efforts and will make available its network of advisors, portfolio companies and specialists to create value.

The new ownership structure builds on previously established collaborations between Rakuten and Walmart, including the popular Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper online grocery delivery service and Rakuten Group’s partnership with Walmart that includes ebook service support in the United States. Rakuten will further accelerate digital transformation of Seiyu and other Japanese retailers through its new subsidiary Rakuten DX Solution, leveraging its 100M+ membership base and technology.

Seiyu will continue to have access to Walmart’s global retail best practices, sourcing network and scale to maintain the price leadership and value it provides to customers.

Seiyu CEO Lionel Desclee will continue to lead the business through a transition period, after which he will take on a new role within Walmart. A new Board of Directors comprised of representatives from KKR, Rakuten and Walmart will be formed to focus decision making locally, and plans to appoint a new CEO following the close of the transaction.

Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, commented, “This past year has been one of the most extraordinary in Seiyu’s rich 57-year history. Our associates have been exceptional, adapting brilliantly to serve customers at a time when they needed it most and outperforming against an ambitious transformation plan. We have been proud investors in this business over the past 18 years and we are excited about its future under the new ownership structure. Today’s announcement is important because its focus is on bringing together the right partners in the right structure to build the strongest possible local business. We look forward to supporting Seiyu’s growth and success, alongside KKR and Rakuten, as a minority investor.”

Hiro Hirano, Co-Head of Asia Pacific Private Equity and CEO of Japan at KKR, said, “KKR is pleased to invest in the success of Seiyu given the important role it plays in the lives of customers across the country. We are also excited by the prospect of working with Seiyu’s associates, who have dedicated themselves to supporting the business in spite of this year’s unprecedented challenges. We will focus on working closely with Seiyu’s management team and associates and leveraging the expertise of Rakuten and Walmart to enhance the customer experience, meet their ever-changing needs, and make shopping more accessible through digitalization. This investment is a true milestone for KKR in Japan and reinforces our commitment to the market as well as our continuing efforts to champion the long-term success of local businesses.”

Kazunori Takeda, Group Executive Vice President and President of Commerce Company, Rakuten, Inc., said, “By building on our successful partnership on Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper and our deep experience in online retail and data-based marketing, we look forward to accelerating digital transformation of Seiyu brick and mortar retail and further merging the best of offline and online retail to offer Seiyu customers the best possible OMO1 customer experience. The planned establishment of Rakuten DX Solution will also allow us to offer digital solutions optimized to transform retail at Seiyu and in new future partnerships with retailers across Japan.”

KKR is making its investment from its Asia private equity fund. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 265 million customers and members visit approximately 11,400 stores under 55 banners in 26 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2020 revenue of $524 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting https://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at https://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/walmart.

About Seiyu:

Established in 1963, Seiyu is a nationwide supermarket chain in Japan with more than 300 retail units. Through its supermarket and hypermarket formats and Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper delivery service, Seiyu offers customers a broad assortment including fresh food, general merchandise, and apparel products across Japan from Hokkaido to Kyusyu. Offering EDLP to our customers, Seiyu contributes to making their everyday life more convenient as a leading, innovative, local value retailer powered by Walmart, its parent company.

About KKR:

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, credit and real assets, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR Co.

About Rakuten:

Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to approximately 1.4 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 20,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About Rakuten DX Solution:

A new Rakuten Group subsidiary planned for establishment in January 2021 to support the digital transformation of brick-and-mortar retailers across Japan and to promote the merger of offline and online retail (OMO) in order to serve customers with a seamless and personalized retail experience.

1 OMO: “Online Merges with Offline” refers to breaking down the barriers between online services and offline brick-and-mortar stores in the retail space in order to provide customers with a seamless, personalized experience.

Walmart
Blake Jackson
+1 479 204-1028
blake.jackson@walmart.com

Seiyu
Miyuki Moriguchi
miyuki_moriguchi@walmart.com

KKR
KKR Asia Pacific
Anita Davis
+852 3602 7335
Anita.Davis@kkr.com

Finsbury (for KKR Japan)
Deborah Hayden, +81 70 2492 0463
Hannah Perry, +81 70 3769 9633
FinsburyKKRJapan@finsbury.com

KKR Americas
Kristi Huller, Cara Major, Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
+1 212 750-8300
Media@kkr.com

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com

Source: KKR

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Kinnevik agrees to divest shares in Qliro Group

Kinnevik

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 press@kinnevik.com

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.

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

3I

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.

-Ends-

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

Investor enquiries Kathryn van der Kroft

Media enquiries

Tel: +44 20 7975 3258 Email: silvia.santoro@3i.com Tel: +44 20 7975 3021 Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com

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: www.3i.com.

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

3I

Highlights 2018
(unaudited, amounts in € millions)
2018 2017 2018 vs
2017
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
2017
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 www.action.com/update2018

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

Action: Yvette Moll
Tel +31 (0)228 31 17 64
Mail press@action.nl
www.action.com

 

ActionLogo_NEWmarch18.png

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