Pre-close period briefing

23 Mar 2005

3i Group plc ("3i"), Europe's leading private equity company, will today start its pre close period analyst briefings ahead of the announcement of its full year results on 12 May 2005.

The results for the full year will be based on the normal detailed valuation exercise carried out at 31 March 2005.

The main topics that will be discussed during the briefings are:

  • Investment 
    Investment, including co-investment funds to 28 February 2005, totalled £843 million. This compares with total investment of £794 million, including co-investment funds, to 29 February 2004.
  • Realisations 
    Realisation proceeds were £1.15 billion in the eleven months to 28 February 2005. This compares with realisation proceeds of £807 million to 29 February 2004.
  • Unquoted portfolio 
    The latest Enterprise Barometer survey of the 3i portfolio was published on 25 February 2005. The overall result was +38, a modest increase from +23 for the fourth quarter 2004. We expect that the level of provisions for investments that may fail and downrounds for the period to 31 March 2005 will be at lower levels than for the full year to 31 March 2004.
  • Capital structure 
    The Board is considering returning surplus cash to shareholders and we expect to make an announcement at the time of our full year results on 12 May 2005.
  • Regulation 
    3i Group plc intends to cease being a Deposit Taker regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") and is in discussion with the FSA regarding the timetable for this change. 3i Investments plc will continue to be regulated by the FSA.

Philip Yea, 3i's Chief Executive said:

"We are continuing to see strong performance across our business and are taking advantage of the competitive dynamics of our markets. This is particularly seen in the very strong level of realisations from our portfolio, although investment levels have also remained good."

For information please contact:

3i Group plc
Michael Queen, Finance Director -  020 7975 3400
Patrick Dunne, Group Communications Director -  020 7975 3283

Maitland Consultancy
Philip Gawith -  020 7379 5151