Pre-close period briefing

27 Sep 2007

This press release is not for distribution (directly or indirectly) in or to the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan and is not an offer of securities for sale in or into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Any public offering to be made in the United States will be made by means of a prospectus that may be obtained from the issuer or selling security holder and will contain detailed information about 3i Group plc, 3i Infrastructure Limited, 3i India Infrastructure Fund and management, as applicable, as well as financial statements. No public offering in the United States is currently contemplated.

 


3i Group plc ("3i"), a world leader in private equity and venture capital, will be holding discussions with analysts and investors ahead of its close period for the six months ending 30 September 2007. This statement sets out the information that will be covered in those discussions. 3i expects to announce its results for the six months ending 30 September 2007 on 8 November 2007.

 

Commenting on the statement Philip Yea, 3i Chief Executive said:

"3i has delivered high levels of realisations and realised profits in the first five months. New investment has also grown, particularly in our Growth Capital business line and through the launch of 3i Quoted Private Equity."

"Whilst the dislocation in leveraged finance markets is expected to lead to a slowdown in new buyout transactions completed, our strategy of broadening the spread of our asset classes and geographies, combined with our balance sheet resources, enables us to address the current period of adjustment from a position of strength."

The main topics that will be discussed with analysts and investors are set out below.

1. Investments and realisations

3i invested a total of £1,012 million in the five months ended 31 August 2007 compared with £452 million in the equivalent period last year. In addition, £258 million (2006: £116 million) was invested on behalf of co-investment funds managed by 3i.

Realisation proceeds received by 3i (excluding co-investment funds managed by 3i) were £1,011 million in the five months ended 31 August 2007 (2006: £627 million).

Investment and realisations by business line were as follows:
 

Investment £m   Realisations £m
(5 months ended) 31 August
2007
31 August
2006
  (5 months ended) 31 August
2007
31 August
2006
Buyouts 339 251   Buyouts 539 298
Growth Capital 445 106   Growth Capital 255 207
Venture Capital 45 75   Venture Capital 110 20
QPE 182 9   QPE 17  
SMI   5   SMI 58 98
Infrastructure 1 6   Infrastructure 32 4
Total 1,012 452   Total 1,011 627

Investments and realisations made during the period by 3i Infrastructure Limited and 3i Quoted Private Equity Limited ("3i QPE") are not included.

 

2. Returns

Realisations for the five month period have been achieved at aggregate uplifts over 31 March 2007 carrying values ahead of the uplifts achieved in the six months to 30 September 2006 (34%).

Consequently, realised profits (net of write-offs) on the disposal of investments for the five month period to 31 August 2007 are ahead of those for the six months to 30 September 2006.

As usual, an important element in the determination of 3i's results for the half year to 30 September 2007 will be the detailed valuation exercise carried out on its investment portfolio as at that date.

3. Strategic developments

3i QPE raised £400 million and listed on the London Stock Exchange on 29 June 2007, including an investment of £181 million by 3i. In its prospectus, 3i QPE stated that it intends to build a portfolio of influential or controlling stakes in small and mid-cap quoted companies, primarily in the UK and continental Europe. 3i Investments plc acts as investment adviser to 3i QPE.

Today 3i also announces the first close of the 3i India Infrastructure Fund (the "Fund"). The Fund is the first to be established within the framework of the strategic partnership agreement announced by 3i and the India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited ("IIFCL") in April. The Fund has a target size of $1.0 billion and, as part of the first close, 3i has committed a minimum of $250 million to the Fund with 3i Infrastructure Limited, which is advised by 3i Investments plc, committing $250 million.

4. Return of capital to shareholders

Shareholders approved an £807 million bonus issue of listed B shares and a 17 for 20 share capital consolidation at 3i's EGM on 12 July 2007. In addition, during the period, 3i purchased and cancelled 6.1 million ordinary shares for an aggregate amount of £63.8 million under the share buyback authority granted by shareholders at the AGM in July 2007.

For information please contact:

3i Group plc
Simon Ball, Finance Director -  020 7975 3356
Patrick Dunne, Group Communications Director -  020 7975 3283
Rachel Richards, Press office -  020 7975 3573

Maitland Consultancy
Philip Gawith -  020 7379 5151

This statement aims to give an indication of 3i's expected return (and of key components of that return) for the six months to 30 September 2007. These indications reflect the Board's current view. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties and could change. In particular, an important element in the determination of 3i's results for the six months to 30 September 2007 is the detailed valuation exercise carried out on its investment portfolio as at that date. The final results for the six months to 30 September 2007, due to be reported on 8 November 2007, may differ accordingly. Factors which could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, general economic and market conditions and specific factors affecting the financial prospects or performance of individual investments within 3i's portfolio.