Slaughters builds bridges with 3i on fund float

Slaughter and May has cemented its corporate ties with private equity house 3i with corporate partner Kathy Hughes advising on the float of its infrastructure fund last week.

3i Infrastructure raised £700m, the largest deal of its kind in Europe. The private equity house now has around £1bn to invest in infrastructure projects worldwide over two years.

The £700m was at the bottom end of the indicative range 3i hoped to raise, its most optimistic forecast being £1.3bn. Hughes said this was largely “just bad luck” as far as the timing was concerned.

“The markets were in turmoil,” added Hughes.” I think that the 3i infrastructure fund differentiates itself from other listed infrastructure funds through the breadth of its targets; this is a global fund, not a UK one and it doesn’t just look at PFI targets

Slaughters has long been 3i’s preferred corporate counsel. It advised last year on 3i’s £700m return of capital to its shareholders through the issue of bonus “B” shares.

The private equity house also uses other firms including Travers Smith, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Simmons & Simmons for its investment work.

Citigroup, appointed as sole global co-ordinator, sponsor and underwriter for the offering, was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

3i has taken a 46 per cent stake through buying 325m shares at £1 each. A third of the £700m has already been invested in existing 3i assets such as Anglian Water.