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January 20, 1988|James S. Granelli, Times staff writer

In one of its largest investments, 3i Ventures in Newport Beach has put $1 million into a young Oceanside company that makes chemical reprocessing equipment for the semiconductor industry.

The investment--equivalent to a month's worth of investments last year--gives the venture-capital company an unspecified stake in Athens Corp., said Fred Haney, manager of the 3i office. 3i would typically expect to make its money when the company goes public or is sold, which usually happens in three to five years, Haney said.

Athens Corp. makes equipment that cleanses chemicals of impurities so the chemicals can be recirculated in manufacturing silicon wafers and silicon chips, Haney said.

3i Ventures, which specializes in early-stage investments in high-growth companies, is a U.S. subsidiary of the world's largest private source of venture capital, the United Kingdom's 3i Investors in Industry Group.

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