3i Infrastructure bullish in pre-close statement

In a pre-close update issued ahead of its annual results announcement in May, 3i Infrastructure managing partner Cressida Hogg spoke of a “clear improvement” for infrastructure investment, including “a more favourable macro-economic outlook, stabilising asset prices and more realistic price expectations among vendors”.

The update, referring to the period 1 April 2009 to 29 March 2010, revealed that 3i Infrastructure, a wholly owned, London-listed subsidiary of 3i Group, had invested £73.3 million (€82.3 million; $111.5 million) and realised proceeds of £25.5 million. The firm has current cash balances of £310.6 million.

Hogg: opportunities
increasing for 3i

Cressida Hogg, managing partner of infrastructure at 3i Investments, said “the number of investment opportunities available to 3i Infrastructure is increasing”. Referring to the reporting period, she said the January investment in Elgin was a “positive development”. 3i Infrastructure paid £39 million for a 49.9 percent stake in Elgin, a portfolio of 16 education and healthcare PFI projects in Scotland and Northeast England. Robertson Capital Projects, a long established UK PFI participant, retained the remaining 50.1 percent.

Also during the reporting period, 3i Infrastructure said it had generated £11.8 million from the redemption of high-yielding senior preference shares in AWG, the largest water and waste-water firm in England and Wales, which had a face value of £10.3 million.

In the statement, 3i Infrastructure said the market environment for infrastructure investment was improving, the pipeline of investment opportunities was attractive and portfolio assets were “performing well” and “generating a good yield”.

3i Infrastructure listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2007, raising £703 million in an initial public offering and further £115 million from a subsequent placing and open offer in July 2008. The firm aims to build a diversified portfolio of infrastructure assets across the globe, with an initial focus on Europe, Asia and North America.