Own-label fruit juice and soft drink supplier Refresco has sold a 20% stake to private equity group 3i – and signalled it would use the proceeds to return to the acquisition trail.

The €84m capital injection will be used to fund further growth of the company, which has doubled revenues and profits over the past three years. Total sales stood at €1.2bn in 2009.

The VC group previously backed a management buyout of Refresco in 2003.

“We are very excited by the capital injection and the re-entry of 3i,” said Refresco chief excutive Hans Roelofs.

“Through our ‘buy and build’ strategy we can further extend our presence in the European market through acquisitions as well as by internal growth.”