Funds managed and/or advised by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (“Blackstone”) and by TPG Special Situations Partners (“TSSP”) announced that they have agreed to acquire Kensington, the specialty UK residential mortgage lender, from Investec plc.
Kensington has been a leading player in the UK specialist residential and buy-to-let mortgage market since its establishment in 1994. Kensington was listed on the London Stock Exchange from 2000 until 2007.
Blackstone and TSSP intend to develop Kensington’s mortgage lending business and broader speciality finance capabilities, and are appointing Ian Henderson as Group Chief Executive to lead that strategy. He was previously Chief Executive of Shawbrook, the leading specialist bank. Keith Street will continue to lead the Kensington mortgage business.
David Blitzer, head of Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, said: “Kensington presents an exciting opportunity to back a high quality management team and to invest in the UK mortgage market. Kensington is a best-in-class specialist lender with an established track record in the UK and strong customer relationships. We will invest in growing the business in the mortgage space as well as extending the range of its activities in specialty finance.”
Michael Muscolino, of TSSP, said: “Our investment in Kensington provides a unique opportunity to acquire a portfolio of scale and a platform to originate new mortgages. We look forward to working with our partners, Blackstone, and this best-in-class management team to grow the existing mortgage business, as well as develop a broader, full-cycle specialty finance platform.”
Ian Henderson, incoming Group Chief Executive of Kensington, said:“I am delighted to join Kensington and look forward to working with Keith Street and the management team under new ownership. Kensington is an outstanding business and we will use its expertise and market position to broaden our product range for new and existing customers.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory and anti-trust approvals.