3i sells off venture companies

In a bid to refocus its attention on the buyouts and mid-market, UK private equity house 3i has sold ten of its venture investments to secondaries specialist Cipio Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The latest transaction, which involves late-stage investments in information technology, internet media and cleantech businesses headquartered in various European countries, highlights the growing trend of private equity companies seeking out alternative liquidity routes for their portfolios.

3i has had a turbulent beginning to 2009. The oldest private equity firm in England recently lost its place in the FTSE 100 and endured mass write-downs that led to the resignation of its CEO. And despite the acquisition of a listed vehicle 3i Quoted Private Equity, giving it access to £240m of cash reserves the firm had its credit rating cut.