Callcredit sets sights on £1bn stock market float

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A ONE-TIME subsidiary of Skipton Building Society is bidding to become a £1bn quoted company in the next five years.

A Chicago-based private equity firm won the race to buy Callcredit Information Group last year in a deal said to be worth £500m.

The sale process attracted 20 suitors, but management chose GTCR to back its growth plans.

Callcredit is one of Yorkshire’s fastest-growing corporates with organic sales up nearly 15 per cent last year to £126m.

With GTCR’s support, it is looking east from its base in Leeds for acquisition and partnership opportunities in Europe and Asia.

John McAndrew, chief executive, told The Yorkshire Post that the preferred exit is an initial public offering in the next four to five years, rather than another private equity sale or purchase by a larger rival.

“We could continue moving up the leagues in private equity, but that’s disruptive,” he said.

“There’s always being bought by a competitor, but we like being in control of our destiny. An IPO means we can raise funds to continue our expansion and growth.”

He believes that Callcredit will be worth £1bn by the end of 2017.

The group provides consumer data and analytics solutions to help businesses make better informed decisions.

Its customers include major national and international banks, media businesses, petroleum, automotive, power and retail organisations.

Skipton Building Society founded Callcredit in 2000 and sold it nine years later for a reported £120m to Vitruvian Partners. The London private equity house sold its stake to GTCR last February.

GTCR, founded in 1980, specialises in financial services and technology, healthcare and information services and technology industries.

Callcredit has grown rapidly through UK lenders’ increased use of credit data and software and analytics tools, as well as emerging demand for credit data solutions and analytics in areas such as insurance and alternative lending.

Callcredit is looking to recruit up to 20 apprentices this year, added Mr McAndrew.

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