3i completes Barclays acquisition

Barclays unit BIFM will become part of 3i’s existing infrastructure activities and be renamed 3i BIFM.

London-listed investment firm 3i Group has completed the acquisition of Barclays Infrastructure Funds Management (BIFM) from UK bank Barclays. The Barclays unit will become part of 3i’s infrastructure business and be known as 3i BIFM.

The deal was announced earlier this year and received European Commission approval in September. At the time it was said that “the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns given the companies’ limited market shares in the markets concerned”.

BIFM currently manages two active unlisted infrastructure funds investing in UK and continental European public-private partnerships (PPPs) and energy projects with total assets under management of approximately £780 million (€921 million; $1.2 billion).

BIFM was one of the first fund managers to target PPP deals and raised its first fund in 1996. Since then, it has invested £1.7 billion through six funds in the UK and across Europe in a wide range of sectors including health, education and transport.

3i Infrastructure listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2007, raising £703 million in an initial public offering and then a further £115 million in a placing and open offer in July 2008. The business is headed by managing partner Cressida Hogg.

BIFM will continue to be led by Nigel Middleton and Andy Matthews, who will join 3i’s infrastructure business as partners along with Stéphane Grandguillaume. The 22-strong team will be based in 3i’s London and Paris offices.

In a statement, 3i said the deal demonstrated its “commitment to the growth of its infrastructure business” and its “objective to increase third-party fee income by growing assets under management”.

The firm also predicted that the new platform would bring fresh deal flow, new funds, broaden the capabilities and expertise of the investment team and expand its access to PPPs and energy projects across Europe.