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3i welcomes new buyout director to the Benelux

3i, Europe's leading private equity company, has appointed Robert Van Goethem, 44, and a Belgian national, as Director within its European Buyout Business. He will join the Benelux office and focus on buyouts in the Benelux markets with a particular emphasis on Belgium across 3i's key sectors.

Robert joins 3i from Permira, where he has been Partner for the last five years in the Paris office, involved in deal sourcing and execution across sectors and jurisdictions but with an emphasis on France and the Benelux. He has been actively involved in the retail, chemical and industrial sectors.

Prior to Permira, Robert gained extensive experience in European buyouts and acquisition finance at Salomon Smith Barney (now Citigroup) in London in its Leveraged Finance team and before that at Citibank in London. Over the years Robert has led the financing on a number of buy-outs across Europe. Robert also spent three years at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

Jonathan Russell, 3i head of buyouts commented:  "I am delighted that Robert has accepted this role within our European buyout business. He is a highly regarded practitioner within the industry and will be an asset to our team. The 3i Benelux business has enjoyed significant momentum in the last few years and his appointment will increase our scope in Belgium and the Benelux".

Robert Van Goethem added: "The excellent financial performance of 3i''s pan-European Buyout business makes it a very attractive time to be joining the team. The continuing growth of the buyout market in the Benelux (and Belgium in particular) makes this an ideal time to join a very dynamic and successful Benelux team".

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.

About 3i Benelux
3i Benelux  has been operating since 1998., The buyout team leads mid-market buyouts up to €1bn using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams.  The growth capital team focuses on investing minority stakes in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. 

The current portfolio, which comprises 11 companies, includes Refresco, one of the leading European producers of fruit juices and soft drinks for European retailers, Hyva, a leading hydraulic solutions provider to the commercial vehicle sector and van Wijnen, a major construction and project development company.  The most recent and successful exit is YBR, a leading European directory services provider, which was sold for €1,825 million to a consortium led by Macquarie Capital Alliance Group.

3i''s European Buyout Business
The 3i European Buyout Business is a leader in the European mid-market. Managing over €3.5bn invested in over 100 companies across Europe, the business invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services. Some recent investments include Keolis - France - €540m - passenger transport, Betapharm - Germany - €300m - pharmaceuticals, Hobbs - UK - €158m - women''s fashion retailer and Crown Media - pay TV channels - €185m. Some recent successful exits include Westminster Healthcare - UK - €751m, Ben Sherman - UK fashion retailer - €114m, Pinewood Shepperton flotation - UK - €75m, and Travelex - UK foreign exchange service - £1bn, YBR Group sale - directories business - €1.8bn.

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