3i stronger after overhaul

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Private equity firm 3i reached the end of a three-year restructuring with strong earnings growth at its portfolio companies, helping it post a full-year return on investment of £719m.

The British owner of Agent Provocateur and Benelux retailer Action said its net asset value (NAV) rose 14 per cent to 396 pence a share, despite a negative hit from currency fluctuations worth £114m, or 12 pence a share.

Shareholder frustration at weak results and a poor share price performance forced a change in leadership at the company in 2012 and led to the restructuring. 3i has embarked on a selling spree to rebalance its private equity business, targeting a portfolio of fewer than 40 companies. It owned 65 as of end of March this year.