FTSE 100 private equity firm, 3i Group plc, announced that Michael Queen would succeed Philip Yea as Group Chief Executive, stepping up from Managing Partner of 3i's infrastructure business unit. Mr. Queen also previously served as Finance Director between 1997 and 2005.
Baroness Hogg, Chairman of 3i said that Mr. Queen's success at their infrastructure unit made him the "natural successor" to Philip Yea: "Michael Queen's stewardship of Growth Capital, his success in launching our infrastructure business and deep experience of seeing 3i through several challenging cycles in the industry make him a natural successor to Philip Yea. He has an excellent understanding of private equity and is widely respected across the company, industry and investment community."
In a separate announcement, the company released an interim management statement related to the three month period ended 31 December 2008. In the statement, the company announced a 21% drop in the value of its top 50 investments before foreign exchange gains, and said that total group net debt on a constant currency basis was "largely unchanged". 3i's top 50 investments represent approximately 61% of its total portfolio value of £5.934 billion at 30 September, 2008.
"Since we published our half-yearly results in November, conditions in the real economy have been very challenging and credit markets have remained dislocated. In view of this exceptional environment, we are publishing the valuation of our largest assets to assist investors in understanding some of the implications for 3i. As expected in a well-diversified portfolio, we have continued to see some earnings growth in the period, but it is too early to tell how current conditions will affect the near-term outlook," noted Julia Wilson, Finance Director.
Group cash, cash deposits and undrawn committed facilities stood at £839 million as at 31 December, down from £954 million at 30 September 2008. Taking account of the foreign exchange translation movements, actual net debt was £2,110 million at 31 December 2008.
Shares in 3i Group slipped 2.5% on the update, while the FTSE 100 climbed 2.1%