Phoenix buys £35m stake in Key Retirement Solutions

Private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners has bought a £35m stake in Preston-based Key Retirement Solutions (KRS).

Key Retirement SolutionsKRS is an independent distributor of equity release loans and a top ten distributor of annuities. It provides estate planning services, and its More2Life division is an equity release lender.

The announcement represents Phoenix's ninth investment from a £450m fund which was raised in 2010, and its latest regional investment since opening its Manchester office in 2011.

Cabot Square Capital had held the stake for six years. Phoenix said the business would look to expand following the transaction, including new product lines and acquisitions.

In the year to 31 December 2012, KRS generated EBITDA of £5.2m, and employed 240. The deal includes £2m of cash held on balance sheet, from Cabot Square Capital.

Phoenix will keep KRS's existing management team in place, with chief executive Colin Taylor at the helm. The management team is investing alongside Phoenix in the acquisition.

Colin Taylor said: "KRS has worked tirelessly to improve the level of financial advice available to those approaching or in retirement. We are excited about partnering with Phoenix, a firm with considerable experience of investing successfully in the retirement segment of financial services, to continue to build KRS into the trusted brand for the over 55s." Completion of the deal remains subject to regulatory approval.