3i Group share price rises as firm nears deal for Aspen Pumps
3i Group Plc (LON:III) is set to seal its first deal in the UK since 2011 with the acquisition of Aspen Pumps for £105 million, The Sunday Times has reported. Citing City sources, the newspaper said yesterday that the private equity firm was close to agreeing a deal with Aspen’s owner, Inflexion Private Equity.
In today’s trading, 3i Group shares were up one percent at 486.90p, as of 08:38 UTC. The stock has advanced 8.2 percent since the start of the year, boosting the company’s market capitalisation to £4.7 billion.
Founded in 1992, Aspen Pumps makes parts for boilers and air-conditioning units, specialising in condensation removal. The company, which made a profit of £1.1 million in 2014, works with suppliers in more than 100 countries, including China, Brazil and India. The suggested purchase price would be a big payout for Inflexion, which paid £25 million to acquire the company in 2007.
If completed, the acquisition would be 3i Group’s first acquisition in Britain in four years, according to data from research firm Dealogic. The private equity giant has in recent months pursued UK firms including media group Gorkana and luxury paint maker Farrow & Ball.
3i was established in 1945 as the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation to help small British businesses grow after the war. The group owns a range of British firms, including the lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur. In 2012, 3i’s chief executive officer Simon Borrows launched a restructuring plan, after which the company began targeting growth areas such as private debt and infrastructure.
As of 12:27 GMT, Monday, 23 February, 3i Group plc share price is 485.95p.