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3i Invests in Inspecta

3i, Europe’s leading mid-market private equity and venture capital company, and funds managed by 3i have signed an agreement to back the buyout of Inspecta, the leading provider of inspection, testing and certification services in the Nordic region, from majority shareholder MB Funds, a Finnish private equity firm.

The company offers a wide range of business and health and safety services to a diversified client base across the construction, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. It employs more than 1,000 highly-skilled staff across Sweden, Finland and the Baltic states.

“Inspecta operates in one of the most attractive niches in the business services sector and, as the market leader, is well-positioned to grow further,” said 3i partner Fredrik Karlsson. “Not only do sector fundamentals mean that the company generates predictable revenues, but there are also attractive opportunities to build Inspecta’s scale through targeted acquisitions.”

“One of the company’s finest assets is its employees,” added Karlsson. “CEO Simo Hassi leads a dedicated staff with a high level of technical competence and a strong rapport with its client base. We look forward to helping the group achieve its growth strategy.”

“Inspecta is an excellent business and platform asset in the TIC market in the Nordic region. With 3i’s support and global network, we are in an even better position to expand into new geographies and take advantage of changes currently sweeping the European market,” commented Simo Hassi.

3i has significant expertise throughout Europe in the business services sector, including recent investments in Coor Service Management, Enterprise plc, Foster + Partners and Sistemas Tecnicos de Encofrados (STEN), as well as the recent realisations of NCP and HSS. The transaction follows the buyout of outsourcing business Eltel Networks, which 3i agreed to acquire last week.

A group led by MB Funds acquired Inspecta from the Finnish government in 2002. Since that time, the business has made 18 acquisitions in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, including that of DNV, a Swedish TIC company. Such acquisitions have helped to grow annual revenues from €25m in 2002 to €106m last year.

Advisers to 3i in the transaction include Roland Berger, NM Rothschild, Castren & Snellman and Linklaters.

The deal is subject to the approval of the anti-trust authorities.

For further information on 3i and the Business Services sector, please contact:

Alan Giddins    +44 20 7975 3130

Notes to editors

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 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.

The 3i European Buyout Business is a leader in the European mid-market.  We lead mid-market buyouts up to €1bn using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams.  Managing €3bn invested in over 60 companies across Europe, the business invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services. 3i recently raised a €5bn fund, the largest fund in Europe dedicated to mid-market buyouts. ‘Eurofund V’ will be invested in buyout transactions over the next four years, primarily in Europe.

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