3i ramps up debt operations with £18m Mizuho purchase

PRIVATE equity group 3i yesterday moved to expand its reach into the debt management space, snapping up debt specialist Mizuho Investment Management (MIM) for £18.3m.

MIM will merge with 3i’s existing small-scale debt activities to create a third substantial string to the firm’s bow, alongside its private equity and infrastructure arms.

The new business – 3i Debt Management – will have assets under management of around £4bn, almost £3.7bn of which come from MIM.

MIM’s management and 3i’s existing debt management employees are to sink their own capital into the new business to acquire a 45 per cent stake, while 3i will retain a 55 per cent controlling interest.

MIM’s current chief executive Jeremy Ghose will move over to 3i with his 28-strong team as chief executive of the debt management arm.

The move by 3i comes just over a week after chief executive Michael Queen initiated a revamp of the group’s private equity operations, merging the buyout team with its growth capital arm.

3i lost one of its top dealmakers, head of buyouts Jonathan Russell, as a result of the shake-up.