3i can see clearly now: FTSE 100 private equity firm buys majority stake in European optician firm Hans Anders

William Turvill
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Hans Anders has stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Sweden (Source: 3i)

London-listed private equity giant 3i has agreed to buy a majority stake in a European opticians chain.

The FTSE 100 firm today announced it had agreed to invest €200m (£170m) into Hans Anders, which specialises in the Benelux region.

The discount optical retailer was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Gorinchem in the Netherlands.

Read more: Private equity firm 3i looks to offload retailer Hobbs

The company, which sells spectacles, hearing aids, contact lenses and sunglasses, has 253 stores in its home country, 105 in Belgium, 62 in France and 36 in Sweden.

It achieved sales of €192m in the last fiscal year, ending January 2017, and has achieved annual revenue growth of 10 per cent since 2013.

3i said it had “extensive experience” investing in the discount, or value-for-money, end of the market, including managing stakes in retailer Action action and gym chain Basic-Fit.

Read more: 3i sells debt management business to InvestCorp

“Hans Anders is a successful company, led by a first class management team, with exciting growth potential,” said 3i partner Robert Van Goethem.

“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.”

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