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3i Group plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEIII
Industry Private equity
Founded 1945 (created by a syndicate of British banks)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people
Sir Adrian Montague (Chairman)
Simon Borrows (CEO)[1]
£940 million (2016)[2]
£830 million (2016)[2]
Number of employees
281 (2017)[3]
Website www.3i.com

3i Group plc is a multinational private equity and venture capital company based in London, United Kingdom. 3i is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


The company was formed in 1945, as the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation (ICFC), by the Bank of England and the major British banks to provide long-term investment funding for small and medium-sized enterprises. Its foundation was inspired by the Macmillan Committee, and resulted from the recognition in the 1930s, given new impetus in the postwar era, that smaller businesses faced a gap in available corporate finance due to banks being unwilling to provide long-term capital and the companies being too small to raise capital from the public markets.

During the 1950s and 1960s, and particularly after 1959 when the shareholder banks allowed it to raise external funds, ICFC expanded to become the largest provider of growth capital for unquoted companies in the United Kingdom. In 1973 ICFC acquired Finance Corporation for Industry, a sister company also formed in 1945 which focused on finance for large companies, and was renamed Finance for Industry (FFI). In the 1980s FFI became a leading provider of finance for management buyouts, and expanded internationally. In 1983 the company was renamed Investors in Industry, commonly known as 3i.

3i Group was created in 1987 when the banks sold off their stakes to form a public limited company. In 1994 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £1.5 billion.[4]


3i invests in mid-market buyouts, growth capital (minority) and infrastructure. Sectors invested in are business and financial services, consumer, industrials and energy, and healthcare.

Current investments include:

  • ACR Capital Reinsurance: 3i bought into this re-insurance business in 2006.[5]
  • Action: in June 2011 3i bought a majority stake in this Dutch discount retailer.[6]
  • Agent Provocateur: in November 2007 3i acquired the lingerie business.[7]
  • Element Materials Technology: 3i announced the acquisition of the materials and testing group of Stork B.V. in November 2010.[8]
  • Foster and Partners: 3i acquired a minority (growth capital) stake in the architecture practice in May 2007. This was bought back by the practice in June 2014 to become wholly owned by the 140 partners.[9]
  • Mémora Servicios Funerarias: 3i bought into this Spanish funeral service provider in 2008.[10]
  • Scandlines: 3i have had 100% ownership of Scandlines since November 2013.[11]
  • Q Holding Co: 3i are due to purchase the company's three main operating businesses, Qure Medical, QSR and Quadra Tooling and Automation.[12]
  • Weener Plastic Packaging Group: in June 2015 3i announced an investment in Weener Plastic Packaging Group[13]


  1. ^ "3i Leadership executive team". Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Preliminary Results 2016" (PDF). 3i. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "3i Group". Yahoo. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Our History". 3i.com. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  5. ^ 3i and Khazanah lead investment in ACR’s $620m inaugural private placement Alternative Assets, 1 December 2006
  6. ^ 3i Proposes Preliminary Terms for Loans to Back Action Buyout Bloomberg, 18 August 2011
  7. ^ men Administrator (16 November 2007). "3i buys Agent Provocateur". men. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  8. ^ 3i in deal to buy Dutch Stork Materials for £130m Evening Standard, 24 November 2010
  9. ^ Foster & Partners announces plans for its future
  10. ^ 3i acquires Mémora in EUR 330m deal Unquote, 19 August 2008
  11. ^ 3i offers to take full control of Nordic ferry group Scandlines FT.com, 12 September 2013
  12. ^ "Sale to private equity firm should bolster Q Holding Co.". Crain's Cleveland Business. Retrieved 2014-12-19. 
  13. ^ 3i invests €250m in Weener Plastic Packaging Group 3i.com, 4 June 2015

External links[edit]