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3I writes down £47m on Bestinvest

Private equity firm 3i has revealed a £47m writedown on its holding in Bestinvest.

In its annual results, 3i announced a £732m underwritten rights issue and highlighted recent investment buyouts such as Bestinvest as the main factor behind a huge rise in loan impairments to £848m from £38m in 2008. Impairments to loans as a result of earnings-based valuations were £620m.

Bestinvest was taken over by 3i in 2007 for a sum understood to be around £165m and has since seen several senior staff leave, including the majority of the investment management team.

Founder John Spiers returned to the firm in October 2008, less than 18 months after selling his stake to 3i. Spiers took on the chief executive role following the departure of Andrew Barnes, who initially took on the role from Spiers in January 2007.

Bestinvest declined to comment on the issue.

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