Pre-close period briefing

25 Mar 2004

3i Group plc ("3i"), Europe's leading venture capital company, will today start its pre close period analyst briefings ahead of the announcement of its preliminary results on 13 May 2004.

The results for the year will be based on the normal detailed valuation exercise carried out at 31 March 2004.

The main topics that will be discussed during the briefings are:

1. Investment

Investment, including co-investment funds to 29 February 2004, totalled £794m. This eleven month performance compares with £273m for the first six months.

2. Realisations

Realisation proceeds were £807m in the 11 months to 29 February 2004. This compares with £503m for the six months to 30 September 2003.

3. Unquoted portfolio

The latest Enterprise Barometer survey of the 3i portfolio was published in February 2004. It suggests that business confidence has continued to improve across Europe with the third quarterly improvement and the highest level of confidence reported since November 2000. The majority of 3i's unquoted portfolio continues to perform satisfactorily.

We expect that the level of provisions for investments that may fail and down rounds for the year to 31 March 2004 will be substantially lower than the same period last year.

4. Unquoted fund management activity

The final closing of 3i's latest pan European mid-market buy-out fund will take place at the end of June 2004. This will provide funding of up to €3bn for mid-market buy-outs over the next three years and we expect that at least €0.8bn will be committed by external investors.

5. Strategy

3i's key strategies are to:

  • Build strong businesses in each of the major venture capital markets
  • Achieve a balanced business by product, by industry sector and by geographic region
  • Invest in companies that have the potential to grow their revenues and profits
  • Use our international network to provide real competitive advantage for 3i and our investee companies

For information please contact:

3i Group plc
Michael Queen, Finance Director -  020 7975 3386
Patrick Dunne, Group Communications Director -  020 7975 3283

Maitland Consultancy
Philip Gawith -  020 7379 5151