Regal Forest

Region

Latin America

Country

El Salvador

Deal type

Growth capital

Investment date

1999

Status date

Realised

White and brown: the colours of success

The appetite for white and brown goods such as fridges, freezers, microwave ovens, CD players and TVs is the emerging market story in a nutshell; consumers have more money in their pockets to spend on products that improve their standard of living.

Regal Forest (‘RFH’) is the leading retailer of white and brown goods, electronics and furniture in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, with a market share of around 30% in all countries.

Actis's long-term commitment in RFH began with an investment by CDC in December 2000 alongside Grupo Siman, the strong management team running the business. This partnership was instrumental in growing RFH; expanding the store network to over 400 locations in 18 countries. In April 2008, RFH opened its first ‘simplified bank’ (Financiera) in El Salvador, offering simple deposit and loan products to existing high-quality customers and to the general public with strict credit criteria.

Actis played an active role in RFH's acquisition in December 2006 of the Caribbean operations of Courts Plc, a UK company at that time in administration. Today, Courts Caribbean is the undisputed market leader in durable consumer goods retail in the English Caribbean (including Belize and Guyana), with sales in excess of US$325m and 40%+ market shares in all the countries in which it operates.

In March 2010, Actis sold its 30% stake in RFH to Operadora Liverpool S.A de C.V, a subsidiary of the leading Mexican department store operator El Puerto de Liverpool.