Private equity arm of bank close to agreeing deal that will see chairman exit

The private equity arm of Lloyds bank is in the final stages of buying a stake in social housing specialist United House.

Building understands that Lloyds Development Capital, which has a track record of investing in the social housing sector, will agree to buy what one source close to the deal called a “minority stake” in the £190m-turnover firm within the next few weeks.

It is understood that chief executive Jeff Adams will remain at the company along with the senior management team but the injection of LDC cash will pave the way for the retirement of chairman Geoffrey Granter.

In addition to its social housing arm, which carried out new build and repair and maintenance, United House also has a private residential and a PFI investment division that manages over 7,000 homes with a contract value of £975m. It was founded in 1964.

LDC has previously invested in social housing firms Herbert T Forrest and Bullock, which it paid over £100m for in early 2008.

It has faced criticism recently that it had an unfair advantage over its rivals after benefitting from the government bail-out of Lloyds bank. Questions were also asked whether a private equity firm should benefit from taxpayer’s cash.