• Region: Central and Eastern Europe
  • Location(s): Timisoara, Romania
  • Industry: Supermarket Chain
  • Date of Initial Investment: Sep 2002
  • Type of Investment: Equity, Mezzanine

Artima Retail Investment Company S.A. At a time when major international players were concentrating solely on Romania’s capital city of Bucharest, Artima’s focus in second-tier cities furthered its success, along with the quality, consistency, and diversity of its products and services.

The Need

In 2002, Artima was just over a year old, had opened only three supermarkets, and was in critical need of more capital for expansion. As with many of SEAF investments, Artima could not yet access traditional funding sources due to its size and early stage of growth.

The Investment

In September 2002, SEAF made its first investment in Artima through the Trans-Balkan Romania Fund (TBRF). Through equity investments between 2002 and 2005, Artima developed into a chain of fourteen medium-sized supermarkets in thirteen cities.

The Impact

Together with Artima’s dynamic entrepreneurs, SEAF played an important role in realizing the company’s success. By identifying its potential, investing when the company was in a difficult financial position, and organizing a consortium of investors to fuel the company’s expansion, SEAF helped the company grow spectacularly; revenues increased, EBITDA increased, and employment rose from 251 at the time of investment to 1,097 just two years later in 2004.

Beyond the financial impact, Artima invests directly in the infrastructure of local communities by refurbishing parks; lighting playgrounds; and improving roads, streetlights, and municipal parking facilities in the various cities in which its stores operate.

A Completed Exit

In 2005, SEAF assisted in the sale of Artima to a large financial investor. Today, Artima belongs to the French supermarket giant, Carrefour.