In a continuing bid to reduce a very heavy debt load, UK private equity firm 3i has put two of its largest German assets on the block. Norma Group, a manufacturer of metal and plastic connectors, will undergo an Initial Public Offering in 2011 which could produce up to EUR 700 million for 3i. Engine maker MWM, on the other hand, will be auctioned off later this year for an amount 3i hopes will be in the €500 million range.
3i embarked on an ambitious plan to off-load debt in the spring of 2009, setting an initial goal of €1.2 billion. As of March 2010, 3i’s goals were exceeded to the tune of €2.05 billion. The success spurred the firm to make a few more deals earlier this year, raising their debt level slightly. 3i paid €360 million for MWM in 2007, and about €200 million for Norma Group in 2005.