3i Infrastructure raises £225m in loans

The firm has invested or committed most of the funds it raised in its initial public offering in April last year, ahead of its two year target to invest the money.

3i Infrastructure, the listed company managed by FTSE 100 company 3i Group, has raised £225 million ($444.3 million; €284.3 million) from four European banks, according to its pre-results briefing.

It has opened a revolving credit facility over a three year period from four undisclosed European banks.

The firm has 88 percent committed the £700 million its initial public offering raised in April. This is ahead of its target to invest the funds within two years of the initial public offering. The firm has invested £444 million in the period from 16 January 2007 to 31 March 2008. 3i’s spokeswoman declined to comment on future fundraising plans.

The company has said it may bid for Novera, an alternative energy company, at £112 million, after buying a 10 percent stake in the company on 18 February for 11.2 million at £0.90 per share, the same price as its offer for the company.
But rival company Infinis, owned by buyout group Terra Firma, also acquired a 28 percent stake in the company at the same price two weeks ago. Neither company can formally bid for Novera until a change of control legal dispute is settled with the Waste Recycling Group. Novera sources natural gas from the group’s landfill sites.

Separately on 31 March 2008 3i Infrastructure exercised its option to buy 3i’s entire limited partner stake in university infrastructure fund Alma Mater for £25 million, exercising an option it had been granted by 3i. The £81 million Alma Mater fund was set up by 3i and Barclays Private Equity.

3i Infrastructure has invested a further £8.7 million in infrastructure firm Infrastructure Investors’ fund taking its investment to £125.1 million.

3i India Infrastructure has returned $89.7 million (€57.4 million) of the $250 million, with which the listed infrastructure company seeded its fund. The Indian infrastructure fund has raised more than its $1 billion target, and 3i Infrastructure’s money will remain committed to the fund, although it will provide investors in the fund with an even distribution of drawn capital. It is expected to close imminently.