3i Group Bids for Barclays' Infrastructure Fund Management Business

LONDON -- Private equity group 3i  (LSE: III  ) this morning announced that it has made an offer for Barclays' (LSE: BARC  ) (NYSE: BCS  )  European infrastructure fund management business.

The European business has an investment team based in both London and Paris, while its assets under management are worth around 780 million pounds, having invested a total of 1.7 billion pounds across six funds since raising its first fund in 1996.

3i believes the business will help grow its infrastructure business and reaffirm its objective to "increase third-party fee income by growing assets under management," while complementing its existing European infrastructure product offering.

Chief executive Simon Borrows commented: 

This strategic move is further evidence of our commitment to grow further and develop our Infrastructure business and to increase our income from third party assets under management. In addition to the significant progress already made in growing our Debt Management business over the past 12 months, this acquisition would represent further progress toward the strategic objectives that we announced in June last year.

3i sees the acquisition as crucial in helping to bring in new deals in the U.K. and across Europe and raise new funds, and expects the asset management fees generated to exceed the incremental operating costs.

The transaction is subject to the completion of an employee information and consultation process, as well as other regulatory conditions. Shares in Barclays rose in early trading over 1.2%, while 3i Group's increased by almost 2.5%.

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