A YORKSHIRE-based company has signed a deal which will lead to the creation of the second largest credit management business in Europe.
Lowell, which employs 1,500 staff in Leeds, has entered into an agreement to acquire the “carve-out” business from Intrum, the credit management services firm.
The carve-out comprises Lindorff’s business in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden as well as Intrum Justitia’s business in Norway.
A Lowell spokesman said: “When Lindorff and Intrum merged, the European Commission agreed it on the basis that certain business elements were sold-off. These elements have been grouped together as the ‘carve-out business’ that we have acquired.”
The transaction is valued at 730 million euros on an enterprise value basis and is subject to approval by the European Commission. It also requires competition and regulatory approvals.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018. The acquisition is expected to be funded through a combination of new debt issuance and equity.
A spokesman said: “Combining the two businesses fits well with Lowell’s strategic objective to develop sustainable competitive advantage across Europe in chosen markets and to support continued growth. The transaction will make Lowell a market leader across the Nordic region.”
James Cornell, the chief executive of Lowell, said: “I’m pleased to be extending the Lowell family today. Our shared commitment to innovation and best practice for consumers and clients alike, will significantly strengthen our service proposition across the credit management value chain.
“I believe that the combination of our operations and cultures is highly compelling and, together, I am convinced that we can continue to drive growth across one of Europe’s most sophisticated credit markets through our combined expertise and experience.”
Trond Brandsrud, CEO of the carve-out business, said: “We are excited to welcome our new owners and to become part of Lowell. This means getting an owner with deep expertise and a strong standing within our industry. The combination of the two of us will be extremely compelling.”
Lowell has operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company was formed in 2015 following the merger of the the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group, the UK and German market leaders. It was previously named the Lowell GFKL Group,
It is backed by the global private equity firm Permira and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The company also has a headquarters in Essen in Germany.