Cinven, the private equity group, is believed to have cooled its interest in Just Retirement, a firm that specialises in selling pensions to people with health problems.
The AIM-listed insurer was put up for sale last October with a £300m price tag, after its owners were forced to ditch plans for a main market listing. Cinven had been touted as the most likely buyer but sources close to the group said: "It's not completely dead but the chances of any deal being done are very, very slim indeed."
A number of other private equity firms remain in the running, including Texas Pacific Group (TPG), but the likes of Legal & General and Prudential are not thought to be involved in the auction. Deutsche Bank is handling the sell-off, while venture capital firm Langholm, which owns 52 per cent of Just Retirement, has retained investment boutique Fenchurch Partners as an adviser.
Cinven was originally mooted as the frontrunner because of its ownership of Partnership Assurance, also a specialist impaired annuities provider, which it bought last year for £160m. It had been rumoured that Cinven would merge the two companies, something that Partnership's board is reported to have been keen to resist.Reuse content