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3i portfolio companies are ranked top performers of PE backed firms in Track 100

3i, a world leader in private equity, has for the second year running been named a top performer with six leading companies including one in first position in the Sunday Times Buyout Track 100 annual ranking of the fastest growing private equity firms.

In first position is Foster + Partners, the international architecture and design firm run by Norman Foster and backed via a minority investment from 3i. In total, six of 3i’s current portfolio companies are included in the 2009 ranking of private equity backed companies, measured by fastest growing profitability. 3i backed Foster + Partners is followed by Thomas Vale Holdings (construction in 36th place), SLR (environmental consultancy at number 56, up from 67 last year), Civica (Software integrator, at 72), Ultralase (eye surgery specialist at 76) and Radius (plastic pipe manufacturer in 86th position).

Steve Nicholls, 3i Partner, Growth Capital explained: “This year’s ranking reflects a changing Private Equity market, with 3i investments cited coming from a mix of minority growth capital and majority buyouts. Whilst there have been less buyouts completed, we have seen continued demand for Growth Capital, or minority investments in fast growing firms, as many businesses buck the current downward trend, to continue on their growth path with active assistance from 3i.”

Importantly, the 2009 ranking also includes former 3i investments, such as EAT (sandwich chain), Republic (fashion retailer) and Precise (media group) showing that following 3i’s successful exits, these businesses have continued to grow. 

Jonathan Russell, 3i Managing Partner, Buyouts added: “The impressive growth for 3i buyout and growth capital portfolio companies shown in the Track 100 demonstrates the beneficial impact of private equity’s involvement in businesses across the UK and internationally.  This builds on other industry research showing that private equity backed companies typically outperform their non private equity backed counterparts given the appropriate guidance and experience from a private equity partner.”

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital, Infrastructure and Quoted Private Equity (“QPE”) and invest across Europe, the United States and Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our business relationships.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders


For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
tel.  +44 207 975 3573

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