Action’s owner, investment firm 3i, aims to sell a part of the discount store chain next year. The Brits would want to sell a 35 % stake in the firm.
Largest part of 3i’s portfolio
Investor 3i owns about 80 % of discount chain Action’s shares, including 45 % in the firm’s listed division and another 35 % in its private fund Eurofund V. The latter is managed by 3i, but contains money from outside investors and these have now indicated a willingness to exit Action and to cash in on their investments. 3i chairman, Simon Borrows, has proposed to sell a part of the Eurofund during a presentation for financial analysts.
Action is currently 3i’s largest asset: according to the investment group, the Dutch discount chain is worth more than 5.2 billion euro. Over the past few years, the shareholders also earned 2.1 billion euro in dividends.
Exit in 2019
Nevertheless, Eurofund’s participants maintain their willingness to divest: when they joined in 2006, they had a 10-year plan, which has been extended to 2019 but is now drawing to a close.
3i’s listed division is not ready to get rid of Action: the group says the chain still has too much growth potential. The company will not go public however, because “3i prefers not to have stakes in listed companies”, a spokesperson told Financieel Dagblad.
3i has an 80 % majority stake, but the board also has a 520 million euro stake in Action as well. Investor Princess Private Equity has a equally large minority stake.