3i Group Plc agreed to sell a plastics-equipment maker to Milacron Inc. for C$975 million ($968 million), ending a 5 1/2 year investment that returned double the buyout firm’s initial investment.
Milacron, owned by CCMP Capital Advisors, competed with a “wide range” of buyout firms and strategic buyers for Mold-Masters, 3i said in a statement. Mold-Masters, a maker of equipment for plastic-product manufacturers, boosted revenue to C$271 million last year from C$168 million in 2009. At first 3i invested C$166 million in October 2007, and proceeds from the Milacron deal are C$341 million, excluding amounts in escrow.
3i said it expects to exit other businesses over the next 18 months as Chief Executive Officer Simon Borrows “intensively” manages the investment portfolio. The buyout firm replaced its CEO last year and began cutting costs after shareholders urged the company to stop making deals and return money to investors.
“This transaction is yet further evidence of the strong and measurable progress that we are making against our strategic agenda,” Borrows said in the statement.
3i climbed 1.4 percent to 286 pence in London trading as of 10 a.m. local time. The stock is up 32 percent this year.
Britain’s oldest private-equity firm reaped about 50 million pounds ($79 million) from asset sales, so-called realizations, in the last quarter of 2012, less than a quarter of the 219 million pounds raised in the year-earlier period. Investments shrank by more than half to 40 million pounds in the quarter. The decline in the pace of asset sales and investments attracted activist investor Edward Bramson, whose Sherborne Investors started trading 3i stock in January.