Hobbs owner 3i sees chances

City A.M. Reporter
VENTURE capital firm 3i said yesterday it had seen an increase in investment opportunities in the US and northern Europe, as it announced a boost in payouts to shareholders.

3i, owner of women’s fashion chain Hobbs, has spent the last year restructuring following shareholder frustration at its poor share price performance and weak results from its buyout business.

This investor impatience was in evidence at yesterday’s annual meeting, where more than a fifth of voters refused to back 3i’s remuneration report.

The group has completed or announced £443m of divestments in the three months to 30 June.

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