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3i Says It’s Making Progress on Overhaul as Asset Sales Fall

3i Group Plc, Britain’s oldest private-equity firm, said it is making progress in implementing an overhaul aimed at reviving profit and deal-making after its shares declined 18 percent over the past year.

“We are making good progress in implementing the strategic changes announced at the end of June to refocus our investment capabilities and reduce the group’s cost base,” Chief Executive Officer Simon Borrows said in a statement today.

Asset sales declined to 119 million pounds ($187 million) in the second quarter from 337 million pounds in the year-earlier period, producing a profit of 56 million pounds. Net asset value declined to 275 pence a share on June 30 from 279 pence at the end of March.

3i is cutting a third of its workforce and shutting offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai after the shares plunged 77 percent in five years. Borrows was named CEO in May after shareholders urged the London-based company to stop making deals and instead return money to investors.

The review cost 3i 15 million pounds in the quarter, most of the money being used to make severance payments to employees leaving the company, Finance Director Julia Wilson told reporters on a call today.

3i rose 4.7 pence, or 2.3 percent, to 205.3 pence at 8:20 a.m. in London trading, giving the company a value of almost 2 billion pounds.

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