Cases royal sanders fabriek2

Not just shampoo

Operational excellence champion consistently outperforming its market in the Netherlands and abroad.

  • Industry: Personal Care
  • Entry: 2015
  • Exit: 2018
  • Royal sanders logo

The Company

Royal Sanders, founded in 1851 by Dutch pharmacist Nicolaas Sanders, is a leading European manufacturer and distributor in the personal care market, offering a range of private-label, contract-manufactured and branded products. Its offering includes bath & shower gel, face, hair & body care, deodorants and fragrance products.

What did we like about Royal Sanders?

Based on our prior experience with our investment in Herkel, we were very interested in the private-label and branded personal care market. Royal Sanders had a strong position in especially the Dutch and German markets, we saw room to grow in existing markets by winning and developing new customers and following the recent acquisition in the UK, increasing its market share there.

Upon completion of the purchase of the shares in Royal Sanders, we set off together with Royal Sanders’ management to write and implement an ambitious strategic business plan. In the three years that followed, we managed to achieve the following.

Facts & Figures


EBITDA margin increase

>€ 5m

Investments in production facility


Capacity increase as a result

Operational optimization as key business driver

We focused on continuous optimizations in the operations process, as well as optimization in sourcing and working capital. Operational leverage was a strong driver of the margin increase during our holding period. Before our ownership, Royal Sanders had acquired a UK-based competitor in 2011. The rationale for this acquisition was to enter the UK market, with favorable circumstances such as a large private-label market, a consolidated retail landscape and a fragmented market. At the time, this company was loss-making. After a turnaround period, this entity started to make a profit as from 2013. Synergies became visible during our holding period, with further integration initiatives such as optimized sourcing and commercial discipline, based on best practices from the Netherlands. This enabled Royal Sanders to fully leverage the combined scale between 2015 and 2018 and realize an 11% y-o-y growth.

Royal Sanders was sold to 3i in 2018.

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