3i sells NNC

3i is to sell its stake in NNC Holdings, a UK-based nuclear services business, to AMEC for £25.3m.

The private equity firm will make a return of 3.1x on its original investment, receiving equity proceeds of £12.9m, an IRR of just below 30%.

3i’s UKIP II acquired a majority stake in the company in September 1999 from GEC (General Electric Company) for an undisclosed amount, alongside BNFL, which took a minority interest, and has also sold its stock to AMEC.

Under 3i’s ownership, NNC has more than doubled its turnover, reaching £86.6m for the last financial year (ended March 31, 2005), with an unaudited operating profit of £5.6m. The Cheshire-based company operates in the UK, Canada, South Africa, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Alan Stevenson, director at 3i, said: “Originally formed from an amalgamation of companies that designed and built all the UK nuclear power stations, NNC was restructured successfully into a consultancy and service provider. Since the buyout from GEC, the company has grown significantly organically, and through acquisition, to become the UK’s leading independent nuclear engineering service provider with a significant international presence.