British private equity firm 3i has announced plans to close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and relocate its China dealmakers to Beijing, Reuters reported. The firm has already announced plans to cut its global headcount by 15%. Chris Rowlands, managing partner for Asia, said the consolidation is part of 3i’s plan to improve efficiency and concentrate more on China deals. To that end, he announced that 3i intends to conclude two to three deals by April, including an investment in the healthcare sector. The firm has invested some US$300 million in China, including in Focus Media, whose advertising displays pervade elevator lobbies throughout China. Rowlands said the firm is not looking to sell its portfolio holdings during the current market environment.
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