Hogg to steer 3i Infrastructure

3i veteran Cressida Hogg has replaced Michael Queen, who took over as 3i's CEO from Philip Yea earlier this week. 3i's infrastructure arm also said it sold a 31% stake in its Infrastructure Investors fund to Barclays for £164m.

Cressida Hogg has replaced Michael Queen as managing partner of 3i Infrastructure. Hogg’s promotion comes just days after Queen replaced Philip Yea as chief executive officer of the UK-based private equity giant.

Yea resigned this week, after 3i made 21 percent in fair value write-downs to the portfolio.

Having joined 3i in 1995 and worked on growth capital and buyouts in the UK, Hogg was appointed senior partner and chief investment officer of the infrastructure investment team when it was established in 2005. She is “a natural successor” for managing partner, both Queen and Peter Sedgwick, chairman of 3i Infrastructure, said in a statement.

The senior management change comes as the firm said the overall performance of its portfolio assets “remains satisfactory” and that it has invested £28 million into its junior debt portfolio. An interim management statement revealed the total cost of investment into the junior debt portfolio stands at £114 million, although the firm said that according to a third party broker, as of 31 December 2008, valuations indicate that the debt instruments are now valued at an average 22 percent discount to the cost of investment.

3i Infrastructure also said it sold a 31 percent interest in its Infrastructure Investors fund, which makes and manages investments in secondary market public and private infrastructure projects in the UK and Continental Europe, to BIIF Bidco- which is managed by Barclays Private Equity- for £164 million. The non-listed fund was first closed in 2003 with £300 million of investment from Barclays Private Equity and Société Générale. In 2005, 3i Infrastructure invested £150 million, and the fund has received more than £550 million to date, according to its website.

The sale achieved a £45 million uplift over cost, and was £13 million more than the September 2008 book value, the firm said. This contributed to the 3i Infrastructure’s cash balance of £429 million, an increase of £100 million since its 30 September 2008 balance of £328 million.

“Over the last quarter vendors’ valuation expectations have been continuing to adjust to the new environment and the availability of debt remains constrained,” Hogg said in a statement.