EI cashes in on Artima

Enterprise Investors (EI), the Polish private equity firm, has sold its 100% stake in Artima, a Romanian supermarket chain to Carrefour, the French food retail group, for €55m.

The sale has generated a 3x return for EI’s Polish Enterprise Fund V, which acquired the company in 2004. Artima was founded in 2001 by Romanian businessman Florentin Banu. Three years later EI bought it for €17m, at which time it operated 14 supermarkets in 13 cities across the Transylvania and Banat regions, with a net turnover of €31m. Under EI’s watch, this has grown into a business with 21 outlets throughout the country with a turnover of €95m expected for 2007.

Jacek Wozniak, the partner at Enterprise Investors leading this investment, said: “Artima is a perfect example of cooperation between a highly effective local team of professionals and a financial investor with sound expertise in developing retail chains in CEE. Drawing on our local reputation, we have worked with Artima’s extremely talented team to build a unique independent player, whose retail concept is perfectly suited to the needs of Romanian clients. The appreciation demonstrated by such a top-class strategic investor as Carrefour confirms the caliber of this achievement both to management and us”.