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3i invests GBP311m in 11 months

Private equity firm 3i Group invested a total of GBP311m in the 11 months ended 28 February 2010, compared with GBP898m in the equivalent period last year. 

Of this investment, GBP130m was cash invested in the existing portfolio, while the balance related primarily to capitalised interest.

Realisation proceeds received by 3i totalled GBP998m in the 11 months ended 28 February 2010, compared with GBP1,123m the previous year.

Total realisations do not include Ambea and Apatech, which together will generate approximately GBP250m of further realisation proceeds. Realisations for the 11 month period have been achieved at aggregate uplifts over 31 March 2009 carrying values of 12 per cent.

3i has closed a Growth Capital Fund at EUR1.2bn. To date, investors from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America have committed circa EUR400m to the fund. As part of its EUR800m commitment, 3i will contribute a seed portfolio of growth capital investments valued at EUR339m.

3i has made a EUR84m investment in Refresco, a European fruit juice producer. This investment is effectively the first new investment by the fund.

The Growth Capital Fund will continue 3i’s existing growth capital strategy and make minority investments in growing businesses across Europe, Asia and North America. The fund will invest in approximately 20 mid-market companies, typically investing EUR25m to EUR150m of equity.

The group had cash, cash deposits and undrawn committed facilities of GBP2.35bn as at 28 February (31 December 2009: GBP2.34bn). The cash movements from realisations and investment generated a net cash inflow of GBP179m during the two month period. As a result of these and other cash flows, net debt was further reduced by GBP115m to GBP528m at 28 February 2010.

The recent EUR350m 5.625 per cent 2017 issuance has enabled 3i to further extend the maturity profile of its debt at attractive terms ahead of the next GBP430m bond repayment due in 2011.

Michael Queen (pictured), 3i’s chief executive, says: “We continue to see improved performance across our business, with overall portfolio performance in line with expectations. The improved financial position of the group means that we are well positioned to continue making new investments in a measured and disciplined way in the high quality opportunities that we are starting to see. I am also pleased to announce the successful close of our Growth Capital Fund.”

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