LISTED private equity fund 3i Group has sold most of its venture portfolio of smaller-sized European companies to a consortium of rivals, in a transaction that has netted it around £130m.<br /><br />The move is part of 3i chief executive Michael Green’s plans to exit the group’s so-called venture and small minority investment portfolios as it looks to cut its debts. The debt pile has already been cut from £2.1bn at the end of last year to £961m at end-June, after other sales and a £732m rights issue this year. <br /><br />The group said Coller Capital, HarbourVest and DFJ Esprit have bought the assets, which include The Cloud – the firm that provides wireless internet access in areas like the City – and 28 similar investments. <br /><br />Ian Lobley, a partner at 3i and head of the venture portfolio team, described the valuation as “good”. “We are very pleased with this latest sale,” he said.<br /><br />He said the assets will be run by DFJ Esprit through a new arm called Encore Ventures, and a new fund has already been set up to manage the companies. Coller Capital and HarbourVest Partners will remain the fund’s sole investors.