3i wins "VC Deal of Year" for UbiNetics

28 Apr 2006

3i, a world leading venture capital and private equity company, last night received the BVCA / Real Deals "Venture Capital Deal of the Year 2005" award for its successful investment in UbiNetics, a 3G chipset, testing and measurement specialist, at the annual awards ceremony in London.  The company was also backed by PA Consulting Group, a leading management, systems and technology consulting firm. 
This marks the third occasion that 3i's Laurence Garrett has won in the "VC Deal of the Year" category in the award's five year history.  Of all early stage UK VC backed companies sold or floated on stock exchanges in 2005, UbiNetics was considered the only credible contender and exemplifies the value venture capital brings to technology companies. 3i and PA Consulting Group were praised for accurate assessment of the business and their active management working alongside fellow board directors over the life of the investment.  Particular highlights were the decision to split the UbiNetics business into two distinct companies, the operational improvements found in 2005 and the introduction of CSR (a prior investment of 3i and BVCA award winner) as an acquirer for the handset business.

Ross Butler, Editor of Real Deals who judged the award explained "Few UK VCs have managed to crystallise returns in 2005.  However UbiNetics was one stand-out deal that would have been a clear triumph in any year.  It began in February 2004, when a five-year old mobile technology specialist raised $26m in expansion capital. The investors [3i and PA Consulting] helped the company expand internationally and reorganise its early-stage 3G operations into distinct business lines. Just over a year later it was sold in two chunks of $84.5m and $48m, offering investors a "home-run" style return."
The expert panel of judges included industry figures from the BVCA (British Venture Capital Association) along with the Editor of Real Deals, the VC industry's most widely read magazine. 

Laurence Garrett, 3i partner who led the UbiNetics investment added "I am proud to accept this prestigious award today.  Backing UbiNetics was a superb experience and it was a real honour to work alongside such an impressive board of Directors.  In my opinion the award recognises the value that truly international venture capitalist partners, like 3i, can bring in helping to build successful high quality global businesses.  PA Consulting is to be congratulated in having the vision to found UbiNetics and the know-how to internationalise the business.  I sincerely hope to continue working with this organisation in the future."

Jon Moynihan, Chairman of UbiNetics and Executive Chairman of PA Consulting Group, added "It has been a pleasure working with 3i to make this such a successful deal.  UbiNetics builds on PA Venture's continuing success and underlines PA's acknowledged ability to set up, run and develop pioneering companies which generate jobs in the UK economy and become leaders in the highly competitive market for global technology. We look forward to continuing to find and establish future leading-edge global technology companies." 
More information about the event can be found atwww.privateequityawards.com.

Notes to editors

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital.  We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.
3i's Venture Capital business focuses on investing in scaleable start-up and early-stage businesses. The business currently manages over 200 investments across Europe, US, Asia and Israel, valued in excess of €1bn. 3i's VC investments fall into four main industry sectors, including healthcare, telecommunications, software and electronics/semiconductors.  
3i's recent investments include TransMedics, Webpay, Endosense, Vonage (VOIP), Udex (RFID), Microsulis (medtech), EnOcean (energy) and DiBcom (DBVH mobile TV) with successful realisations for Interhyp, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, Arakis, dtms, RedDot, UbiNetics, CSR, Element5, Bookham and many others. 

For more information, go to http://www.3i.com