3i pays out another £800m

3i said in a pre-close update that it will pay out another £800 million to shareholders after a strong year for investment and realisations. It has now made £2 billion of dividend awards in three years.

3i, Europe’s largest quoted private equity group, is planning to return another £800 million pounds (€1.2 billion; $1.6 billion) to shareholders later this year, after reporting increased investment and strong returns for its current financial year.

3i boss Philip Yea

In a pre-close update ahead of the end of its financial year on March 31, 3i chief executive Philip Yea said the company had invested £1.6 billion in the first eleven months of its financial year, and total investment would be up by 35 percent on the previous year.

3i also enjoyed a strong year for realisations, which generated nearly £2 billion in the first eleven months. The subsequent sale of NCP’s off-street car parking business, which was bought by Macquarie earlier this month for £267 million, will also be additive to the full-year result.

As a result 3i will pay out an £800 million dividend later this year, bringing its total dividend payments to £2 billion over the last three years.

Yea said: “Our announcement concerning a further return of capital reflects the continued delivery of strong realised returns whilst still allowing for planned growth in the future.”

Since November 2006, 3i has also bought back 7.5 million of its own shares.

At 12.15 BST, 3i’s shares were up 0.44 per cent at 1145 pence, giving the company a market capitalisation of £5.3 billion.