PE Firms Circle UK Insurer Just Retirement

Cinven, a pan-European buyout firm, is in pole position to buy AIM-listed insurer Just Retirement.

Rival private equity firms are reported to be Cinven’s main competition with TPG Capital and General Atlantic also bidding.

Surrey-based Just Retirement shares were up 5.49% today from yesterday’s close of 45.5p to 48p at 1pm GMT today. Last June, Just Retirement’s shares were trading at 148p. The company has a market cap of approximately £135m.

The business, which sells investment products to those in or approaching retirement, reported an 8.6% drop in first half sales last week, with sales of £353.9m for the six months to December 31, down from £387m in the like period of last year.

Cinven’s other current financial services investment is Partnership Assurance, which it bought from mid-market private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners for a total consideration of £200m in August 2008, although no new debt was involved.

Previous investments, now realised, include insurers Holland Re and Holmwoods Group, both sold in the 1990s.

Source: Thomson Merger News