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3i closes on £555 million acquisition of NCP

3i, Europe's leading private equity company, announced today that having received European Comission approval, has completed its acquisition of NCP, the UK's leading parking services and traffic management company, in a £555 million transaction.

NCP, which was acquired by Cinven in 2002, has grown to become the market leader in the provision of on-street, off street and airport parking services. 

NCP manages over 900 car parks throughout the country and 230,000 on- and off-street parking spaces. It has contracts with 31 local or regional government authorities.  In recent years, the group has commenced its transformation into an outsourcing specialist for the public sector, offering a range of both parking and traffic management services.

NCP''s continued future growth is being driven by the long term, sustainable increase in car usage, with the on street division in particular benefiting from further decriminalisation of parking offences and a growing trend towards outsourcing by local authorities.  Forecast revenues in the year to December 2005 are £450 million with EBITDA of £42 million in the same period. The NCP brand, with over 86% consumer recognition, provides a great platform from which to continue to deliver exceptional growth. 

NCP is a further addition to 3i''s growing portfolio of infrastructure assets. 3i is an active investor in the infrastructure market and is building a diversified pan-European portfolio of assets, with some recent activity including a £376m deal in rail and bus transport company Keolis, a £92m deal in Freightliner, a leading operator in rail freight transportation and a £150m investment in IInfrastructure Investors, the largest equity fund within the secondary PFI market.

Chris Williams, 3i Director, said: "3i''s track record and relationships in the outsourcing and support services sector enabled us not only to identify NCP at an early stage as an outstanding company with stable and predictable long-term cashflows and a talented and experienced management team, but also to identify additional growth opportunities going forward. The acquistion of NCP is a significant addition to 3i''s growing portfolio of Infrastructure assets." 

Jonathan Russell, 3i''s Head of Buy-Outs, said: "With support from 3i, we are confident that NCP will continue its transformation into a leading public sector outsourcing business. This acquisition is consistent with 3i''s strategy of leading buy-outs of up to €1 billion in European growth companies." 

Bob Macnaughton, NCP Chief Executive, said: "In 3i we have found the perfect partner to take NCP forward. Their experience in the outsourcing sector coupled with their long track record of assisting growth companies gives me great confidence for the future. We are delighted with the outcome of this transaction."

3i''s deal team included Chris Williams, David Holligon, Wolf Wolfsteiner, Oscar Gomez and Tom Salmon.

Financing for the acquisition was provided by RBC Capital Markets using infrastructure financing techniques suited to the stable long-term cashflows of the underlying business.

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 NCP
NCP is Britain''s leading parking services and traffic management company. The company has contracts with 31 of the UK''s local or regional government authorities and management over 900 car parks, including car parks at 10 of the principal UK airports and 57 railway and London Underground stations. In total NCP manages or operates 230,000 parking spaces and handles more than 60 million customer transactions per year.

Recent legislation and continuing local authority efficiency and financing pressure will deliver considerable market growth.  The introduction of the Traffic Management Act 2004 has opened up a number of new opportunities for the business, which will complement its existing offerings.  Furthermore, the range of services which NCP offers through its extensive existing infrastructure gives the business unrivalled access to fast growing markets.  NCP is also uniquely well placed to deliver on the growing trend of local authorities to outsource repair and management of their underinvested car park portfolios.   

The business was acquired by Cinven from Cendant Corporation in 2002. Cinven and the management then separated the company''s property assets from the operations of the business, and these were then subject to a sale and leaseback agreement. Since then the group has captured a clear leadership position in parking services and is three times the size of its nearest competitor.

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