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3i Group to Return $1.6 Billion to Shareholders

3i Group, Europe's largest publicly traded private equity company, said Thursday it will return 800 million pounds ($1.6 billion; 1.2 billion euros) to shareholders after selling some of its assets.

The company intends to finance the transaction through a combination of share buybacks and the issue of preference shares.

"Our announcement concerning a further return of capital reflects the continued delivery of strong realized returns whilst still allowing for planned growth in the future," the company said in a statement.

3i made 1.6 billion pounds ($3.14 billion; 2.36 billion euros) from asset sales in the 11 months through Feb. 28. That figures does not include the 267 million pounds ($524.6 million; 393.1 million euros) earned from the sale of National Car Parks sale.

The stock gained 0.2% to 1,142 pence ($22.44; 16.81 euros) on the London Stock Exchange.

3i will announce earnings for the year through March 31 on May 10.

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