3i acquires stake in schools, health portfolio

UK-listed 3i Infrastructure said today it has acquired a 49.9 percent stake in Elgin Infrastructure, which holds a portfolio of 16 educational and healthcare PFI projects across Scotland and northeast England. The fund paid £39m for the stake, sold by Robertson Capital Projects.

3i Infrastructure, a UK-listed infrastructure fund, announced today it has acquired a 49.9 percent stake in a portfolio of educational and healthcare projects for £39 million (€45 million; $63 million).

The portfolio is held by Elgin Infrastructure and includes 16 projects across Scotland and northeast England, 15 of which are already operational. The seller was Robertson Capital Projects, an investor in projects procured via the UK’s project finance initiative (PFI), which retains a 50.1 percent stake in Elgin Infrastructure. PFI is the UK government’s standardised procurement process involving the private sector.

In related news, 3i Infrastructure said in its interim statement for the period from October 1, 2009 to January 29, 2010 that it netted £12.4 million from two divestments.

The majority of that amount, or £9.6 million, resulted from the sale of an 8.6 percent equity interest in UK renewable energy firm Novera Energy. The sale was made at a loss of £1.6 million compared to the initial investment, though 3i highlighted that the sale price represented an uplift of £4 million over the asset’s value at the end of last September.

The remaining £2.8 million came from the divestment of its junior debt investment in Associated British Ports at a profit of £400,000 over its total investment cost and a profit of £200,000 in relation to its value at the end of September 2009.

Following the acquisition of Elgin Infrastructure, 3i Infrastructure had a cash balance of £295 million and no borrowings, it said in the statement.