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3i sells Republic stake to Change Capital in £105m deal

3i, Europe's leading private equity and venture capital company, today announces that it has sold its minority stake in Republic as part of a £105m deal that sees Change Capital become the majority shareholder in Republic. 3i's proceeds represent a money multiple of 2.2x and an IRR of 80%.

Republic, which currently operates 76 stores throughout the UK, offers aspirational and edgy brands such as G-star, Replay, Bench and Hooch as well as its own exclusive ranges. 

3i invested £15m of equity and debt in February 2004 and has actively supported the company over the past 20 months.  Though its network of contacts, 3i has introduced Richard Tonks as chairman and helped Republic strengthen its second tier management team. 

Since 2004, Republic has performed very strongly, opening more than 35 new stores and almost doubling profits despite a difficult retail climate.

Phil Greves, 3i Investment Director, commented: "Republic has been a very successful investment for us.  3i invests in talented, ambitious management and works in partnership with them to build value.  Republic is a great example of this."

Tim Whitworth, CEO of Republic, commented: "3i has been a valued partner over the last 20 months and has given us great support in developing the business.  In particular, we have benefited from their retail track record and their contacts in the industry." 

Notes to editors

About 3i 
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

In the year to March 31, 2005, 3i invested £962m, including co-investment funds.  3i''s Buyouts business operates primarily on a pan European basis, investing in businesses with a transaction value of up to €1 billion.  In the year to March 31, 2005, Buyouts invested £532m.  During the same period, its Growth Capital business, which focuses on high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition, invested £274m across Europe and Asia.  3i''s Venture Capital business invested £144m in the year to March 31, 2005.  The venture capital business invests in early stage technology companies throughout Europe and US.

3i Growth Capital 
3i''s Growth Capital business focuses on investing minority stakes in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition.  The business currently manages 300 investments across Europe and Asia with a value in excess of €1.8bn and invests across a broad range of industry sectors, including healthcare, financial services, food & drink, media, IT services, support services and oil & gas. 

Recent investments include Nimbus, India, €36m; Boxer, Sweden, €84m; Clinica Baviera, Spain, €40m; Williams Lea, UK, €68m; Renta Corporation, Spain, €20m; Novem CID, Germany, €25m; Vetoquinol, France, €20m and PEARL, Singapore, €8m.  Recent exits include Cannon Avent, UK, €450m; Pets at Home, UK, €330m; Wood Group, UK, €37m; Ascent Technology, UK, €34m; Raynal, France, €0.5m and Highland Energy, Germany, €178m.

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