3i sells fruit juice company for €461m

The global private equity firm has exited its investment in fruit juice and soft drink business Refresco 18 months after acquiring it from a private equity consortium.

London-listed 3i has sold its stake in Netherlands-based fruit juice company Refresco to a consortium led by Icelandic investment group FL Group.
 
3i has sold Refresco to FL Group; Vifilfell, an Icelandic franchisee for Coca-Cola Company brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta; and key management. The enterprise value was €461 million ($559 million), and FL Group said it had invested €56 million in the deal.
 
3i originally acquired Refresco in a €240 million transaction in September 2003 from a consortium comprising Hay Hill Capital, NeSBIC, ISIS Equity Partners, CBG Commerzbank and Capiton.
 
According to Menno Antal, partner and managing director 3i Benelux, Refresco’s management chose 3i in 2003 due to its European food and drink sector expertise and international network.
 
During its period of ownership, 3i introduced private equity board veteran Alan Petersen to the supervisory board of Refresco as chairman and supported the acquisitions of Interfruits in Spain and VIP Juicemaker, a Finnish private label juice maker.
 
Based in Dordrecht, Refresco is the second-largest manufacturer of private label fruit juices and soft drinks in Europe, serving retailers and hard discounters in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Finland. The company employs over 1,200 staff and reported gross sales of €606 million and EBITDA of €64.1 million in 2005.