Alpha Private Equity Funds and AlpInvest acquire the Hans Anders Group from Gilde Buy Out Partners and Comnaar Investments to continue the expansion of this leading optics and hearing aids retail chain in the Netherlands and in Europe

A consortium formed by Alpha Private Equity Funds 5 (hereinafter Alpha) and AlpInvest Partners (hereinafter AlpInvest) today announced that it will acquire the Hans Anders Group from the Gilde Buy-out Funds (hereinafter Gilde) and Comnaar Investments (hereinafter Comnaar) alongside its management team led by CEO Patrick Herman and CFO Jan de Groot. Financials for the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1982, Hans Anders is the most well-known and developed optics retail chain in the Netherlands. Today, the Group operates through a network of over 500 stores under 2 brands: Hans Anders with 245 stores in the Netherlands and Het Huis with 124 stores. The Group is also expanding rapidly in Belgium (88 stores) and in France (48 stores). The core brand Hans Anders is notably famous for its highly attractive value-for-money product offering with a large range of frames, lenses and sunglasses. Moreover, Hans Anders is one of the largest Dutch retailers of hearing aids and accessories. In 2011, Hans Anders successfully launched its online shopping platform, which offers 24/7 availability and best-in-class delivery services of discount optical products to every customer in the Netherlands.

The overall demand for optical products and hearing aids is continuously growing due to the aging population, and the new acquirers will encourage Hans Anders to realize its full potential. Patrick Herman, CEO of the Hans Anders Group, whom the new financial investors have known for many years, declared: "We strongly believe that Hans Anders can benefit from Alpha and AlpInvest's relevant experience in the Netherlands and that they can assist management in their retail expansion strategy in Europe, and especially in France. Looking forward, the group expects to consolidate its number 1 position in the Dutch optics market by offering top quality products at the best possible prices. The company will continue its multichannel strategy by opening stores in Europe and expanding its newest online webshop".

The transaction will be finalized by the end of May 2011 after competition clearance from the relevant authorities.

Alpha Private Equity Funds 5

Founded in 1985, Alpha is a leading independent private equity partnership which invests in medium-size companies throughout Continental Europe. Alpha generally targets companies with enterprise values ranging from €50 m to €500 m. Today the Alpha funds represent roughly €1,500 m over 3 funds. From 1985 to date, Alpha has completed more than 125 transactions mainly in continental Europe, notably France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Over the past 25 years, Alpha has invested in many different retail companies in Europe, including Alain Afflelou (optics retail), Retif (cash-and-carry store equipment retail), Histoire d´Or (jewellery retail), Rue du Commerce (online consumer electronics retail), Stokomani (discount retail), Comptoir des Cotonniers (fashion retail), and most recently Françoise Saget – Linvosges (home shopping and store retail of home linen). In the optics retail market, Alpha organized and led the first leveraged buy-out of Alain Afflelou in France from 1997 to 2000. Further details about the Alpha funds can be found under www.groupealpha.com.

Alpha contact persons:
Nicolas Macquin (00 33 1 56 60 20 23)
John Blydenstein (00 31 6 55 39 66 97)
Julien Leleu (00 33 1 56 60 20 40)

AlpInvest Partners

AlpInvest Partners N.V. is one of the largest private equity asset managers in the world with over €40 bn of assets under management. AlpInvest invests worldwide across the primary funds, secondaries, and direct investment (co-investment) channels, covering the entire private equity spectrum including mezzanine. AlpInvest operates from offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London and New York. AlpInvest makes primary fund commitments to leading direct investment firms like Alpha and co-invests alongside its relationships in transactions on a direct basis.

Over the last 10 years, AlpInvest Partners N.V. deployed EUR 4 bn in more than 100 co-investments and has invested in a range of retail businesses, amongst others in Maxeda, one of the leading retail companies in the Netherlands. Further details about AlpInvest Partners N.V. can be found under www.alpinvest.com.

AlpInvest contact person:
Rob de Jong (00 31 205 40 76 18)

Gilde Buy Out Partners

Gilde Buy Out Partners B.V. is the largest independent Dutch private equity company and one of Europe's leading private equity investors and since its inception in 1982 Gilde Buy Out Partners has been involved in more than 250 transactions. Gilde Buy Out Partners operates in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and France and manages funds in excess of EUR 2.0 billion and focuses on investments in Continental Europe. Gilde funds are subscribed by international institutional investors, which predominantly include pension funds, financial institutions and governments. Gilde is a majority shareholder in amongst others Gamma Holding, Hofmann Menü, Royal Nedschroef, Powerlines and Plukon Royale. Further details about Gilde Buy Out Partners can be found under www.gilde.com.

Gilde contact person:
Koos Teule (00 31 302 19 25 08)

Comnaar Investments

Comnaar Investment II B.V. is a informal Dutch private equity company with a main focus on the following market segments: online and offline retail (Schoenenreus and Kleertjes.com), services (TMC Group N.V. and De Welten Groep), wholesale (Jomo and Teidem) and retail real estate.

Comnaar contact person:
Paul Schouwenaar (00 31 622 80 18 42)