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3i backs management buyout of Fairline Boats Plc

3i, Europe's leading private equity company, today announced it has backed a management buyout of Fairline Boats, the UK based manufacturer of leisure power boats, from The Renwick Group Plc, for a consideration of £40 million.

3i has backed the incumbent six-strong management team, including CEO Derek Carter, FD Alan Bowers. It has appointed David Hoare, who has worked with 3i before, as non-executive Chairman.

Based in Oundle and Corby in Northamptonshire, Fairline is one of the world''s leading powerboat brands with forty years standing in the international powerboat market, specialising in the manufacture and distribution of boats in the 34 to 74 foot range.  Fairline''s premium products are renowned for their style, performance, quality and are sold through an exclusive, independent dealer network in 70 locations worldwide. 

Mark Dickinson of 3i, who will join the Board, said: "This was a proprietary deal, sourced as a result of 3i''s unrivalled network and was executed quickly and efficiently.  We will continue to support management''s recently introduced Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain programmes and expect to invest further funds in due course to support the building of a new facility to increase the number of product lines that Fairline produces."
Commenting on the management buyout, Derek Carter said: "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to invest in the business with equity partners 3i.  Fairline''s plans for the future will ensure the Company goes from strength to strength, complemented by its skilled workforce, industry leading dealer network and professional supplier base." 

David Burnham, director of The Renwick Group, said: "This attractive opportunity was presented to us by the management of Fairline and we were pleased to facilitate the sale."

The Royal Bank of Scotland arranged the debt and will continue as the company''s bankers.

Notes to editors

About 3i
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 Asia. 

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 Buyout Business
The 3i European Buyout Business is a leader in the European mid-market. We lead mid-market buyouts up to €1bn using insight from our local knowledge, international connections, and our sector teams. Managing over €3.5bn invested in over 100 companies across Europe, the business invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services. Some recent investments include Keolis - France - €540m - passenger transport, Betapharm - Germany - €300m - pharmaceuticals, Hobbs - UK - €158m - women''s fashion retailer. Some recent successful exits include Westminster Healthcare - UK - €751m, Ben Sherman - UK fashion retailer - €114m and Pinewood Shepperton flotation - UK - €75m, Travelex - UK foreign exchange services - £1bn transaction, YBR Group sale - directories business - €1.8bn.

About Fairline Boats
Fairline has a network of over 60 dealer locations throughout the world.  Fairline currently employs over 1100 people in the UK.  Fairline is a key export company, with around 95% of the 290+ boats being sold to export markets in Europe, the US and beyond. 20 years of Targa production is celebrated during 2005.

Fairline Boats manufactures luxury motor yachts from 34 - 74 feet: Fairline Targa - 34, 40, 43, 47, 52 and 62 feet. Fairline Phantom Flybridge Series - 40, 46 and 50 feet. Fairline Squadron - 58 and 74 feet; a 66ft model will be appearing during summer 2005.  Prices range from circa £133,745 to £1.848 million excluding VAT.

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