3i looks for cheap AIM companies to add to its portfolio

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The Independent Online
AIM-listed companies could become a bargain basement opportunity for 3i, the publicly quoted investment group, according to its chief executive, Brian Larcombe. The investment trust still specialises in unquoted companies and management buy-outs but retains a portfolio of shares in companies which have subsequently become quoted, including 13 listed on the Alternative Investment Market, according to the last accounts.

Commenting on the fall in value of AIM, Mr Larcombe said some AIM companies may find it difficult to raise required finance. However, he said 3i was more interested in companies that appeared to be sound long-term investments than those which appeared cheap at any given moment.

3i's investment portfolio underperformed the 100 share index over the six months to the end of September, generating a total return of pounds 217.4m after tax, an increase of 7.5 per cent on shareholders' funds. It compared with a 19 per cent return on the FTSE 100 index but exceeded the 1.3 per cent return on the FTSE SmallCap index.

Income including dividends, interest and fees increased by 13 per cent to pounds 71m.

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