A private equity firm which currently owns DFS Furniture is reportedly planning a £1 billion takeover of the Land Registry.
Advent International which previously owned Poundland in the UK, and currently has an international portfolio of investments including Worldpay and Fat Face in the UK, as well as radio stations, bankruptcy providers, fast food chains and healthcare providers internationally.
According to the firm’s website, in 1990 they also invested in Italian dairy and fruit beverages company Parmalat, which collapsed in 2003. Parmalat’s former CEO Calisto Tanzi was eventually charged with financial fraud and money laundering before being jailed in 2011.
According to Sky News the move could attract renewed opposition from trade unions which have warned previously that a sale of the Land Registry could undermine homebuyers’ confidence in its data.
Advent is among a substantial number of private equity groups casting their eye over the Land Registry.
Ministers have previously explored a part-privatisation of the Land Registry, including the creation of a new joint venture company which would be partly owned by private sector investors.
The alternative option considered in 2014 was to hand over the running of the agency to a private company in the form of a so-called GovCo.