Sources have indicated a deal is possible in 2013, but not certain, after Cinven received a number of approaches for the insurer.
The buyout group acquired Partnership, which provides pension plans, long-term care plans and life cover, for around €200m (£174.79m) three years ago.
Cinven is reported to be narrowing down a group of four banks – Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Lexicon Partners and Deutsche Bank – in order to appoint a single advisor.
Last month Cinven agreed to buy Dutch insurer Aegon’s UK-based Guardian Life unit for £275m but declined to comment yesterday on the prospect of another deal.
Partnership reported a £35.39m pre-tax profit from continuing operations in 2010, up 27 per cent, as retirement sales continued to grow and it returned to the equity release market, which is set to expand as Britain’s ageing population considers how to pay for care costs in later life.
No one from Partnership Assurance could be reached for comment last night.