LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - Private equity firm 3i posted a 24 percent total return on shareholders’ opening funds in the year to end-March on Thursday, equivalent to 1.43 billion pounds ($1.94 billion), on its growing range of corporate and infrastructure investments.
The company reported strong performance from its private equity unit, with a gross 1.4 billion pounds return driven by investment in companies including Action, Scandlines, ATESTEO and Basic-Fit.
The group also hailed a “very good” year for its infrastructure division, which advised 3i Infrastructure plc on six investments and commitments totalling 525 million pounds and the disposals of Elenia and AWG, which helped to generate a total return of 29 percent for 3iN and a special dividend of 143 million pounds for 3i.
It closed two European infrastructure fund platforms, raising assets of more than 1 billion pounds and invested 177 million pounds in its maiden U.S. infrastructure investment, Smarte Carte.
3i has pledged a total dividend of 30 pence per share for the full year, with 22 pence to be paid in July, subject to shareholder approval.
“Our fund management initiatives in infrastructure, together with our reinvestment into Scandlines, will generate important cash income, while our private equity portfolio remains well positioned to generate top-tier capital returns,” Chief Executive Simon Borrows said in a statement.
$1 = 0.7382 pounds Reporting By Sinead Cruise; editing by Carolyn Cohn