3i Group sells Finnish electricity interest for €36m

The London-based international investment group has sold its 5.7 percent stake in Lakeside Network Investments, the Finnish electricity distribution and district heating business, to Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.

3i Group, the London-listed investor in private equity, infrastructure and debt, has sold a 5.7 percent interest in Lakeside Network Investments (LNI), a Finnish electricity distribution and district heating business, to Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). The deal is worth €36 million.

A statement from 3i says that 3i Infrastructure plc, which was among the initial investors in the acquisition of LNI from Sweden’s Vattenfall in December last year, will be retaining “its entire stake” in LNI.

In its pre-close trading update for the year to 31 March 2012, 3i Infrastructure said it had invested £194.8 million (€233.8 million; $311.9 million) in the acquisition of LNI. Other investors in the deal, reported to be worth €1.54 billion, were GS Infrastructure Partners and Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

Last week, 3i Group chief executive Simon Borrows announced a plan to create a leaner organisation with a lower cost base, involving cutting a third of its staff and a number of offices around the world. The plan is also to continue reducing gross debt, which has been brought down from £1.62 billion to £1.25 billion since March 31 this year. It aims to cut the figure to less than £1 billion by June next year.