Pre-close period briefing

30 Sep 2003

3i Group plc ("3i"), Europe's leading venture capital company, will today start its pre close period analyst briefings ahead of the announcement of its interim results on 6 November 2003.

The results for the half year will be based on the normal detailed valuation exercise carried out at 30 September 2003.

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

1. Investment

Activity in the private equity and venture capital markets continues at lower levels than last year. 3i continues to make investments in a broad range of sectors and geographies, although, as we indicated in May, at the time of 3i's full year results to 31 March 2003, and also in July at the Annual General Meeting, at a lower rate than last year. Investment in the five months to 31 August 2003 was £187 million (including co-investment funds).

2. Realisations

The market for mergers and acquisitions and the appetite of the quoted markets for new issues remains subdued. However, realisations have continued across the portfolio generating cash inflow of £409 million in the five months to 31 August 2003.

3. Unquoted Portfolio

The recent Enterprise Barometer survey of the 3i portfolio suggests that business confidence has improved since last quarter. The majority of 3i's unquoted portfolio continues to perform satisfactorily.

We expect that the level of provisions for investments that may fail and down rounds in the six months to 30 September 2003 will be considerably lower than the same period last year.

4. Capital

In July of this year, 3i successfully completed a €550 million convertible bond issue due in 2008. The conversion price is approximately 841p, which represents a 45% premium over the reference price of 580p. The cash coupon is 1.375%.

5. Strategy

3i's key strategies are:

  • To build strong businesses in each of the major venture capital markets.
  • To achieve a balanced business by product, by industry sector and by geographic region.
  • To invest in companies that have the potential to grow their revenues and profits.
  • To use our international network to provide real competitive advantage for 3i and our investee companies.

For information please contact:

3i Group plc  
 Michael Queen, Finance Director  Tel:  020 7975 3400      
 Patrick Dunne, Group Communication Director  Tel:  020 7975 3566
 Issued by The Maitland Consultancy  
 Philip Gawith  Tel:  020 7379 5151