3i backs MBO of Lekolar

22 Feb 2007

3i, a global leader in private equity, and funds managed by 3i have signed an agreement to acquire Lekolar AB, the leading supplier of educational and learning material, furniture, toys, stationery and arts & crafts to pre-schools and secondary schools in the Nordic region. The vendor is Procuritas Capital Investors III.

“Lekolar is precisely the type of business we are looking to invest in. The company has a leading position in an attractive growth market, an excellent reputation amongst its customers and skilled and experienced employees. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Lekolar's management team in building an even more successful business”, commented Mattias Eklund, Partner of 3i Nordic and Adviser to the 3i Group plc.

Lekolar, headquartered in Osby, in southern Sweden is currently active across the Nordic region. The group includes BRIO Lek&Lär AB in Sweden, Printel OY in Finland, RABO A/S in Denmark and BRIO Lek&Laer A/S in Norway. Lekolar has 230 employees and generated sales of over SEK 1 bn in 2006. Lekolar was previously called Brio Educational, and then Brio Lek och Lär.

3i has a strong investment track record in this sector, including investments in companies such as the Early Learning Centre in the UK and Spain’s Imaginarium.

Lekolar enhances learning environments for children and young people. Its objective is to offer preschools and secondary schools the tools they need to provide high-content, enjoyable and rewarding activities. Lekolar has the largest product range on the market, with over 10,000 items in teaching aids, educational toys, painting, drawing and writing materials, as well as furniture and equipment.

Nikolas Larsson, Lekolar’s CEO, commented on the deal: “We’re delighted that 3i is investing in the company as their unparalleled knowledge of the sector and global network will help us grow the business and ensure Lekolar’s continued progress.”

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Lekolar and its continued growth potential. The company has bright prospects of developing its Nordic business and expanding throughout Europe” said Tomas Ekman, Partner of 3i Nordic and Adviser to the 3i Group plc.

The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on buyouts, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.www.3i.com