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3i expands its $2.5bn global growth capital business into the US

3i, a world leader in private equity and venture capital, with $14bn in assets under management, announces today that it has recruited 9 private equity professionals to form its new US Growth Capital team and has opened an office in New York City, NY to spearhead its growth activities in the U.S.

3i is the world’s leading growth investor.  A pioneer and innovator in private equity in Europe and Asia, 3i is now bringing its unique blend of investment expertise, and international network to the US Growth Capital market.  3i’s heritage is in growing significant international businesses.  It helps management teams build exceptional businesses through giving them access to its global network, corporate connections and extensive experience in growing businesses.

“In a very competitive market, 3i has established one of the most distinguished growth capital track records in the world,” said Philip Yea, Chief Executive of 3i.  “As a publicly-held private equity firm, our flexible capital structure, international reach, unrivalled sector depth, and extensive portfolio of c. 1000 companies, offer the resources necessary to bring a unique private equity solution to U.S. mid-market companies”.

3i U.S. Growth Capital will provide financial and strategic support to companies through a team of 9 private equity professionals with extensive experience across a variety of sectors, including media, business services, technology and consumer, energy and healthcare.  An additional 5 investors will join over the course of 2007.  The founding Partners of 3i U.S. Growth Capital are: Robin Marshall, Whitney Bower and Ken Hanau.

“3i‘s competitive advantage in the US is all about our sector depth and international reach.  Nobody in the mid-market in the US, or anywhere in the world, can match our network on either a sector or a geographic basis.  This translates into high quality deal flow, and an ability to add real and substantial value to our portfolio companies – something we have being doing for over 60 years,” said Robin Marshall.

“3i is an innovator and a pioneer.  We have led the way in Asia with investments such as Focus Media in China, now a $4bn company listed on NASDAQ, and Vantec in Japan, the first Japanese buyout by a non-Japanese firm. Our European business has successfully built many $1bn companies such as Yellow Brick Road, which was formed through the merger of Fonecta, De Telefoongids and Mediatel; and Petrofac, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in a $1bn IPO.   We have decades of experience and many hundreds of investments which over the years have demonstrated the breadth and depth of our offering.  The recent $2bn exit of 3i’s investment in Vetco Gray to GE is the most recent example and we are looking to build more billion dollar companies here in the US,“ commented Whit Bower. 

“Family run businesses is another area of focus for 3i and we feel that the US market offers some of the best and most diverse opportunities for investment.  3i has a long successful track record of working with family-owned businesses, adding strategic insight, helping with global expansion and providing additional sources of executive talent, to help these businesses achieve their objectives.  Given our flexible capital structure, and our comfort in taking minority positions, we are well positioned to be the partner of choice for family businesses“, commented Ken Hanau who has extensive experience working with and investing in family businesses.

3i’s US Growth Capital team will typically invest $20m - $200m in privately owned businesses in either minority or control deals.  The investee companies typically have an enterprise value of between $50m and $1bn, a proven management team and a market leading position.

The Growth Capital offering builds upon 3i’s well-established venture capital presence in the US.  3i''s VC partners provide both early and late stage financing to high potential technology companies from its offices in Waltham (Boston) and Menlo Park (California).  3i VC US focuses on the software, communications, healthcare, cleantech and electronics fields, to help turn innovative ideas into world class businesses such as: LSI Logic, OSI Pharmaceuticals, RSA Security, Vonage and Cambridge Silicon Radio. 

Notes to editors

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Venture Capital and Infrastructure and invest across the US, Europe and Asia.  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.

3i Growth Capital is the world’s largest growth capital fund investing over $1bn every year in businesses across the US, Europe and Asia.  We provide financial and strategic support to established businesses with the potential for outstanding value growth.  We invest between $20m - $200m to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions, restructure shareholdings, release equity or change the balance of equity to debt.  Once we have invested, we are committed to working in partnership with majority shareholders.

Recent Growth Capital investments include Electrawinds, Benelux, $40m; ACR, Singapore, $200m; NECL, India, $45m and Giraffe, UK, $20m.  Recent realisations include Poliris, France, $455m; Alimak Hek, Sweden, $310m and Salamander Energy. 

3i’s Buyouts business is a leader in the European mid-market.  With over €8bn of funds under management and an existing portfolio of over 65 companies across Europe, 3i Buyouts invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services.  3i Buyouts recently raised €5bn, representing the largest fund in Europe dedicated to mid-market buyouts.

Recent Buyout investments include Dockwise, Benelux, $700m; BME, Benelux; and Selective Beauty, France.  Realisations include Vetco Gray, UK, $1.9bn; SR Technics, Switzerland, $1.2bn and Damcos, Denmark, $200m.  

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