Private equity firm sounds out banks about possible sale of shares

Private equity firm 3i looks set to sell its 40% stake in Foster + Partners.

According to a report in the Sunday Times the firm is preparing to sell the interest it bought in 2007 and has begun sounding out investment banks about a possible sale of its shares.

When 3i invested in the practice it was vcalued at around £300m, however since then it has seen staff numbers and revenues fall.

Foster + Partners posted a loss for the 12 months to the end of April 2010 of £18.5m on the back of continuing writedowns, interest payments and restructuring charges.

Turnover at the practice tumbled 13% to £134m, down from £154m for the same period last year as the global financial crisis continued to impact on high profile projects around the world.