Epiris today announces that it has agreed to sell Saunderson House, the financial advisory firm, to Rathbone Brothers Plc for £150 million. The sale, which remains subject to regulatory consent, would be the second major realisation from Epiris Fund II following the sale of TI Media to Future plc in April 2020, and is expected to close by the end of September.

Saunderson House provides a comprehensive financial planning and investment management service to private clients across the UK. Founded in 1968, today the company advises approximately 2,200 clients in respect of £4.7 billion of assets. The business is led by Chief Executive Tony Overy.

Saunderson House was formerly part of IFG Group, which Epiris acquired in a £206 million take-private transaction in 2019. Following the acquisition, Epiris separated IFG into its two component parts, Saunderson House and James Hay. It retains the latter, a pensions administrator and investment platform, which recently announced a recommended cash offer for Nucleus Financial Group.

Owen Wilson, Partner at Epiris, said:

“When we bought Saunderson House, it was somewhat buried in a conglomerate. Separating it into an independent entity has brought focus and clarity to the business which in turn has unlocked its potential. This latest transaction represents a tremendous opportunity for Rathbones and Saunderson House to grow together, and we wish Tony and his team every success in this next stage of the company’s story.”

Alex Fortescue, Managing Partner at Epiris, said:

“We are delighted to have announced this second strong realisation for Fund II. Our plan for IFG has been to simplify and strengthen both of its constituent businesses; we are pleased to be able to reap some of the fruits of this labour through this transaction with Rathbones.”

Tony Overy, Chief Executive of Saunderson House, said:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Epiris; they have brought clarity and ambition to our business whilst taking care to preserve the client-first culture that is at the root of Saunderson House’s success.”

The Epiris team on the deal is Owen Wilson, Bill Priestley and Zoe Lai.  Epiris is advised by Fenchurch Advisory, Macfarlanes and PwC.


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About Epiris

Epiris is a top-decile* private equity firm which invests in opportunities to transform businesses in partnership with exceptional management teams. It targets control positions in UK-headquartered businesses with an enterprise value of between £75 million and £500 million, deploying between £40 million and £150 million of equity.

Fund I

Between 2011 and 2016 Epiris invested £1 billion in buyouts and loan-to-own debt investments in respect of which it has delivered a gross IRR of 38%*. Synthetic net returns from this portfolio are in the top-decile of European private equity funds of comparable vintages.

Fund II

Epiris Fund II is an institutional private equity fund raised in 2017. Investments made by Fund II include Portals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of “substrate” for banknotes; TI Media, one of the largest consumer magazine publishers in the UK; The Club Company, the UK’s largest country club operator; Bonhams, the global auction house; Diamorph, a supplier of advanced material solutions for demanding and safety-critical applications; IFG Group, a financial services holding company whose subsidiaries are James Hay, which provides pensions administration and investment platform services, and Saunderson House, an independent wealth manager and financial adviser; and The Big Table, which operates more than 150 restaurants under the Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge brands. In April 2020, the Fund sold TI Media to Future Plc for £140 million, generating a return of 2.1x MOIC, a 44% IRR. In June 2021, the Fund agreed to acquire Sharps, the UK’s leading supplier of fitted bedroom furniture, in a transaction which is expected to close by the end of September.

For further information, please visit www.epiris.co.uk.

Issued by Epiris which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*As at 31 March 2021. Gross IRR does not reflect adjustments for investment management and administration costs. Comparator data supplied by Preqin. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.