3i in $33m Indian port exit(3)

The sale comes as the UK-listed private equity firm, which is trying to deleverage its balance sheet, aims to fully realise ‘its venture capital and small minority investment portfolios in the next 12 months’.

3i has sold a stake in Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ) for INR1.7 billion ($33 million; €25 million).

The sale was done in an open market bulk deal on India’s National Stock Exchange. 3i declined to comment on the size of stake sold.

MPSEZ is India’s largest private port and special economic zone, located on the country’s west coast. MPSEZ is part of the Adani Group, an India conglomerate. It is listed on the National stock exchange of India as well as the Bombay stock exchange.

In 2006, 3i invested $50 million, in the form of convertible bonds, for a minority position in MPSEZ. Government Investment Corporation, a Singaporean sovereign wealth fund also invested $50 million in MPSEZ at the time.

The sale comes while 3i is trying to deleverage its balance sheet. According to Michael Queen, the firm’s chief executive, 3i is on track to reduce its net debt by £1bn ($1.4 billion; €1 billion) in the next year, during which it also aims to fully realise its venture capital and small minority investment portfolios.

Last month, 3i invested $161 million for a minority stake in the Krishnapatnam Port Company. In 2008, 3i invested $227 million in Adani Power, which is developing power plants across India. Adani Power is also part of the Adani Group. Both investments were made from the firm’s $1.2 billion 3i India Infrastructure Fund.