3i chief Borrows left baffled by raider Bramson’s motivation

Michael Bow
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THE CHIEF executive of the UK’s oldest private equity company 3i yesterday said he was mystified about a latent bid by vulture fund Sherborne Investors to wrest control of the firm.

Simon Borrows, boss of the FTSE group behind Kate Middleton’s favourite clothes shop Hobbs, said he did not know why Sherborne boss Ed Bramson was stalking the firm.

Bramson, who creates investment vehicles to takeover companies, has built up a 4.9 per cent stake in 3i. His last venture, F&C Asset Management, has seen its share price flatline in the two years since he took charge.

“I’ve looked at the share price performance since Mr. Bramson became chairman of F&C and I’ve looked at the activities here and I’m afraid I just don’t get it,” Borrows said yesterday.

“I know he’s named us as his target company in various publications his shell vehicle has put out, but he hasn’t communicated with us and I really don’t understand it.”

3i, set up in 1945, yesterday said cost cutting measures were ahead of target.