3i raises £245m from investment sales and clears way for more

Joseph Millis
Simon Borrows, the chief executive of 3i, says the company is still keen to invest
AGENT Provocateur owner 3i yesterday announced that strong market valuations had cleared the way for further disposals after it raised £245m from sales of invest­ments in the final quarter of 2014.

The private equity firm, which also owns women’s clothing chain Hobbs, said its sale of German automotive supplier Hilite and further sales of stakes in several listed US investments had brought its total to £569m in the nine months to 31 December.

“Pricing in Europe in particular remains very full and, although keen to invest, we remain cautious and will continue to be an active seller of investments while this environment persists,” chief executive Simon Borrows said.

“There’s an awful lot of capital out there that’s desperate to get decent yields and we’re benefiting from that on the realisation side,” finance director Julia Wilson told reporters on a conference call.

It has hired Goldman Sachs to sell Agent Provocateur, while the auction for Dutch soft drinks bottler Refresco Gerber is expected to complete in less than a month.

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