3i exits bid partnership for E.ON’s Italian gas network


The infrastructure division of FTSE 100 private equity firm 3i has abandoned a joint venture to bid for the 9,400km Italian gas network of German utility giant E.ON, according to Reuters.

The firm had been bidding with gas supplier Erogasmet but has walked away, according to a source who spoke to the news network at an infrastructure conference in Berlin. Erogasmet is still in the running for the gas network but 3i is no longer involved, according to the source.

E.ON has put the assets up for sale as a result of its need to reach its target of completing €10bn by the end of 2010.

3i recently made its debut investment from its freshly closed growth capital fund, investing in Refresco, having divested a stake in the European fruit juices and soft drinks producer four years prior. The firm took a 20 per cent stake in the drinks business for €84m, a growth investment that will help Refresco with its buy-and-build strategy.

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