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Britain’s oldest private equity group 3i’s membership of the Footsie is tenuous to say the least. 30p and down from a 52-week high of 345. 25p, it is literally hanging on by its finger tips and is one of the favourites for relegation when the FTSE Steering Committee meets early next month. Broker Oriel has been banging its drum for months that 3i is ripe for a takeover as it continues to trade on a sizeable discount to net asset value of at least 360p a share. A bid approach could therefore easily come from an existing shareholder, another private equity firm or a general investor wanting expertise and a portfolio in private equity. Any cash-rich suitor would be interested in acquiring a block of private equity assets and teams of experienced investment executives, while 3i’s significant cash pile is also a major attraction. Meanwhile, the group awaits former Barings banker Simon Borrows’ appearance in its office in October.