3i, a global private equity firm, has sold CH4 Energy, a UK energy and power company, to Venture Productions, a listed oil and gas producer, for €224 million ($285 million).
A spokesperson for 3i said that the firm generated a 7.3 times multiple on its original investment and an IRR of 105 percent. 3i provided an undisclosed amount of initial start-up capital for CH4 Energy in 2002 and has since backed five bolt-on acquisitions.
Based in London and Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam, CH4 Energy invests in fallow fields in the North Sea gas basin and specialises in the recovery and development of marginal oil and gas assets. 3i said that the firm has exploited the lack of interest in North Sea gas by the industry’s big players.
3i also previously held a stake in Venture Productions, having acquired a minority stake in the business in 1997. “3i was also a founding shareholder in Venture where we were pivotal to the early development of the business until its IPO in 2002,” said Colin Burnett, investment director with 3i’s oil, gas and power team.
3i also completed the buyout of ABX Logistics, an international freight forwarder and logistics provider to the air, sea and road industries from the Belgian state railway SNCB. According to a report in French daily newspaper Le Soir, the transaction value was €80 million.