Keith Lovelock has retired as chairman of McCarthy & Stone, the country’s biggest retirement housebuilder.

Lovelock left last week, and will be followed next month by finance director Matthew Thorne. Thorne announced his resignation last year when the company was bought by the HBOS-led Mother Bidco consortium.

Lovelock seemed certain to leave once the company was sold last October.

Having succeeded co-founder John McCarthy as chief executive of McCarthy & Stone in 1993, Lovelock became joint chairman and chief executive 10 years later, before becoming chairman in 2004. Perhaps the highlight of his reign was fighting off a bid from McCarthy to buy back the company and take it private in 2003.

Mother Bidco last year brought in Geoff Ball as executive chairman and three other men to represent the consortium on the board. HBOS has since announced that it wants to sell its share of the business.

McCarthy & Stone was unavailable for comment and Lovelock declined to discuss his retirement.

McCarthy & Stone currently builds 60% of the UK’s retirement homes, specialising in blocks of retirement flats. It was bought by Mother Bidco after it beat a Permira and Barclays-led consortium.