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New forum to exploit growth opportunities for water technology sector


30 June 2006 -- Three leading players to the water industry have launched a new forum to encourage the industry to exploit market opportunities by bringing water technology companies face-to-face with the investors and other industry stakeholders.

The initiative is the brainchild of law firm, Pinsent Masons, private equity and international venture capitalists 3i, and professional support services firm, Mouchel Parkman.

The Wet Event Network plans to stage a number of events throughout the year that will allow water technology companies to share ideas and develop business relationships and opportunities with leading water companies, utility companies, water engineering and consulting firms, funders, entrepreneurs and advisers.

Welcoming the timely launch of the network, guest speaker Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Peter Ainsworth MP, called on industry leaders to invest more time and effort in tackling the critical issues facing the water sector globally.

Mark Lane, Head of the Water Sector Group at Pinsent Masons, said: 'With a global industry growth rate of 7% a year, more than 50 countries suffering water shortages and six out of ten European countries over-exploiting ground water it is imperative that we fully exploit the technology we have at our fingertips if we are to realistically meet the challenges that exist today. An initiative such as the Wet Event Network is the perfect platform for the water industry to ensure long term growth and innovation by working hand-in-hand with leading advisers and investors.'

Ali Erfan, 3i partner, added: 3i is proud to be a founding partner of this project which brings the international resources and expertise of the forum members to bear to encourage profitable innovation in water technology. Innovation promises genuine improvements to the quality of millions of lives and the sustainability of our planet today. We are living in era now when profitable investments can be made in sustainable technologies.

Piers Clark, Managing Director of Mouchel Parkman Utilities, said: The water industry actively seeks efficiency gains, and extensive, needs driven, research and development is still carried out within many water companies. However, the disincentives which UK regulation places upon technology and product development within the water companies have led to significant underinvestment in this area. We are very excited about the Wet Event Network, and the opportunity which it offers to bring a broad spectrum of organisations together, in a forum where ideas can be exchanged, business development opportunities can be explored and, ultimately, joint goals can be realised.

ENDS

Note to Editors:
Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 and is in the Global 100 of law firms. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.


About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

3is Venture Capital business focuses on investing in scaleable start-up and early-stage businesses. The business currently manages over 200 investments across Europe, US, Asia and Israel, valued in excess of 1bn. 3is VC investments fall into four<


Publisher Contact Information:

3i Group plc
+44 (0)20 7975 3138
karoliina.heimo@3i.com

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