3i is considering raising a third-party growth capital fund of around £1bn (€1.1bn), according to reports.
The firm, according to the Sunday Times, is looking to raise £1bn for the vehicle, although 3i said no fixed figures had been targeted and that a fundraising was still at an “exploratory” stage.
The firm has traditionally invested in growth capital from its balance sheet, although its buyout and infrastructure teams have raised third-party money.
Chief executive Michael Queen, who took charge of 3i after Philip Yea was ousted, was previously head of growth capital at 3i and has spoken of the opportunities offered by growth capital on numerous occasions during the last year.
The firm is understood to have a number of potential growth capital targets in its pipeline, and the firepower offered by a third-party growth capital fund could help 3i to close these deals.
Growth capital involves buying minority stakes in small companies that are pursuing rapid growth.