By and large, a list of the most active private equity sellers so far this year overlaps with a compilation of the busiest recent investors. Seven PE firms
have completed five or more exits so far this year, according to the PitchBook Platform, including industry heavyweights like KKR, Apollo Global Management and Blackstone.
But at the top of the list is a more unusual candidate: Epiris, which has completed its eighth and ninth exits of 2017 with the offloading of CALA Group and Retirement Bridge to Patron Capital Partners for total proceeds of £94 million. CALA is a house builder, while Retirement Bridge is a provider of home-reversion equity release plans. Some of the firm’s other recent sales include Parkdean Resorts (for £1.35 billion), OAG (for about $215 million) and RISI (for $125 million). The string of sales greatly outstrips the firm’s recent investment activity.
Since the start of 2014, KKR and Blackstone have completed more than 300 new private equity investments, while other firms like Apollo and Ardian, two of the more busy exiters so far in 2017, have completed more than 130 new deals. Epiris, meanwhile, has signed just 35 new pacts,
ranking outside the top 150 among all PE investors during the past three-plus years, per the PitchBook Platform.
When considering present-day exits, it’s perhaps more instructive to look at a firm’s deal activity five to seven years in the past. But Epiris was even less active as an investor then: During the three-year span of 2009 to 2011, Epiris (at the time known as Electra Partners) completed
just 19 new deals, according to PitchBook data.
Why Epiris is so busy unloading portfolio assets, though, is not a mystery. Last December, along with changing its name, Epiris announced plans to split from Electra Partners on May 31 after Electra shareholders helped force out Epiris as the fund’s manager. With that deadline looming ever-larger, more exits for the British investor may be in the offing.
PitchBook subscribers can learn more about the Epiris management team, the firm's current portfolio and more right here.