Phoenix sells Preston’s Key Retirement for £208m

Private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners agreed the sale of Preston-based Key Retirement Group (KRG), a provider of financial products for retirees, to funds managed or advised by Switzerland-based investment manager Partners Group for a transaction value of £208 million.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to clearance by regulatory authorities.

“The sale of KRG will deliver a return of c.4.5x Phoenix’s investment cost and is the sixth realisation from Phoenix’s 2010 Fund,” said Phoenix in a statement.

“Previous exits include CloserStill, Edif Group and The Gym Group.”

Sandy Muirhead, partner at Phoenix, said: “We are delighted with the strong growth that KRG has achieved during our ownership period, and with the excellent return we have generated … on this investment.

“It has been a privilege to work with KRG’s outstanding management team, and we wish them, and the business, continued success with their new partners.”


Partners Group said  KRG specializes in the origination and distribution of lifetime mortgages (LTMs) on behalf of third-party funders, which enable customers to release equity from their homes to fund their retirement.

KRG advised around 9,000 customers in 2016, providing around £530 million in LTMs.

Simon Thompson, CEO-designate of KRG, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Partners Group as our new owner and look forward to further building on the significant growth we have enjoyed over the last few years.

“There is a real need for specialist financial services for those in or approaching retirement, which creates a compelling market opportunity for KRG.

“We believe the Partners Group team has the right experience and network to support the successful build-out of our platform and explore new segments of the market.”

Andrew Deakin, managing director, private equity Europe, Partners Group, said: “This is a great opportunity to support an established market leader within a high-growth market niche.

“KRG is the leading specialist adviser to the pre-retirement and retirement segment in the UK and has demonstrated strong organic growth since its inception.

“The business has significant scope for further value creation and we look forward to working with Simon Thompson and his team to build out KRG’s service offering over the next several years.”

Partners Group is a global private markets investment management firm with more than $57 billion in investment programs under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt.

Partners Group is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and has offices in San Francisco, Denver, Houston, New York, São Paulo, London, Guernsey, Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Manila, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney.