3i shutters Silicon Valley office

The global buyout group has taken another step away from venture capital. It closed its venture-focused Boston office last year.

UK-headquartered private equity firm 3i has closed its Menlo Park office as it continues to move away from early stage venture capital technology investing, an initiative it announced earlier this year.

The firm closed its Boston office, which was also focused on venture capital, at the end of 2007.

It is currently unclear what will happen to the 13-strong team in Silicon Valley, which was led by Jim McLean.

3i’s North American strategy now concentrates on mid-market private equity and infrastructure investments. The firm is headed in the region by Robert Stefanowski, a 14-year veteran of General Electric, who was hired in September as managing partner and chairman.

In related news, British venture capital firm Octopus Asset Management has closed down its Leeds office in order to “centralise” its team and focus on its mezzanine finance offering. Four staff will be let go following the move.