3i Group (LON:III) announced results for the six months to 30 September 2019
· Total return of £767 million or 10% on opening shareholders’ funds (30 September 2018: £728 million, 10%) and NAV per share of 873 pence (31 March 2019: 815 pence) after paying the 20 pence second FY2019 dividend in July 2019.
· Good trading performance across the Private Equity portfolio, with underlying earnings growth underpinning a gross investment return of £666 million or 11%. This was driven by assets including Action, Hans Anders and Aspen Pumps.
· Considered approach to new investment in Private Equity, with the new investments in Magnitude Software completed and in Evernex announced in the period. We also made seven bolt-on acquisitions for portfolio companies and announced a further since the period end, most of which were self-funded.
· We have been working with our Eurofund V (“EFV”) investors, and have agreed a transaction to provide liquidity for the fund’s investors from the sale of their holding in Action. This transaction values Action at a post-discount enterprise value of €10.25 billion, representing a net multiple of 18.2x 30 September 2019 run-rate EBITDA and 20.3x 30 September 2019 LTM EBITDA. The transaction is scheduled to close in early January 2020.
· Good contribution from our Infrastructure business, with a gross investment return of £88 million, or 9%, driven principally by share price appreciation and dividend income from 3i Infrastructure plc (“3iN”). Strong levels of investment activity across our Infrastructure portfolios, with new investments and bolt-on acquisitions completed or announced for 3iN, the 3i European Operational Projects Fund and for our US Infrastructure portfolio.
· Positive contribution from Scandlines, which delivered a gross investment return of £44 million in the period, or 8%, driven by good trading performance. Scandlines also completed a refinancing in the period, returning capital proceeds to 3i of £70 million, in addition to dividend income of £21 million. A further £6 million of dividend income was received earlier in the period.
· First FY2020 dividend of 17.5 pence per share to be paid in respect of the first six months of the financial year, in line with our dividend policy.
Simon Borrows, 3i Group’s Chief Executive, commented:
“We saw good performance across our portfolios in the first half of the year, reflected in an attractive total return of 10% for our shareholders. Despite the uncertain macroeconomic environment, the majority of our investments have moved into the second half of the year with decent momentum. We are very pleased with the progress made in providing liquidity to EFV investors through the sale of their holdings in Action. Importantly, the proposed new shareholding structure will maintain the 3i-led governance model at Action.”