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3i invests GBP59m in Q4 2009

Private equity firm 3i invested GBP59m during the fourth quarter, bringing the total investment in the nine months to 31 December 2009 to GBP249m.

Of this investment, GBP111m was invested in the existing portfolio and the balance related primarily to capitalised interest. 

Investment for the equivalent nine month period in 2008 was GBP841m. 

In addition, GBP34m (2008: GBP81m) was invested in the quarter on behalf of co-investment funds managed by 3i.

Realisations (excluding co-investment funds) were GBP270m for the quarter, bringing realisations to GBP777m for the nine months to 31 December 2009 (2008: GBP942m). Realisations from the portfolio, including the IPO of PCD in China and the sales of DNA and Dockwise in the Nordic region, have been made at good uplifts over opening carrying value at the start of the year.

The group had cash, cash deposits and undrawn committed facilities of GBP2.34bn as at 31 December (30 September 2009: GBP1.96bn). 

The significant cash movements from realisations and investment generated a net cash inflow of GBP231m during the three month period. 

As a result of these and other cashflows, net debt was further reduced by GBP211m to GBP643m, which is below the company’s objective of GBP1.0bn of net debt by mid-2010.

Michael Queen (pictured), 3i’s chief executive, says: “We start 2010 in a strong financial position, building on the performance of the previous quarter. We have continued to see good realisations from the portfolio and the pipeline for new investment has strengthened."

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