3i: Earnings Higher, Deal Pipeline Fuller

LONDON (Reuters) – London-listed private equity firm 3i Group (III.L) said its deal pipeline is picking up as financing conditions improve and trading stabilises, helping boost earnings at its own portfolio companies.

Investments over the three months to end totalled 105 million pounds, including a 35 million pound ($53.18 million) investment in French healthcare company Vedici, against 76 million in 2009.

Proceeds from company sales were 79 million pounds, down from 163 million pounds in 2009, but do not include the recently agreed sale of the commodities testing and inspection arm of Inspicio for 450 million pounds.

The group valued its portfolio at 321 pence a share at the end of March, up 15 pct on the year. (Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Louise Heavens) ($1=.6581 Pound)