Permira, the international private equity firm, today announces that a company backed by the Permira funds has completed the acquisition of the Lowell Group as well as a successful offer of £555.0 million senior secured notes and £240.0 million senior notes. The proceeds will be used to repay amounts outstanding from the acquisition of the Lowell Group and to extend the maturity of the current debt profile. The offer saw a strong demand from investors, which not only highlights the confidence the market holds in the new Group, but also provides a strong financial position, both now and in the future.
The combination of Lowell and GFKL, markets leaders in the UK and Germany respectively, creates one of the largest credit management businesses in Europe. With the backing of the Permira funds, the new Group is well positioned to capitalise on the strong growth opportunities by taking advantage of the complementary skill sets and their collective breadth and expertise. The Group will be jointly led by James Cornell, formerly CEO of Lowell Group, and Kamyar Niroumand, formerly CEO of GFKL. Together the company will create a ‘one stop shop’ able to provide extensive recoverables management services.
Commenting on the announcement, James Cornell, co-CEO, said: “The combination of Lowell’s debt purchasing prowess with GFKL’s strength in Business Process Outsourcing will provide the platform for a dynamic partnership that will be mutually beneficial and deliver commercial advantages within their own local markets in the UK and Germany. We were also delighted to have once again successfully utilised the bond market, where our secured notes offering was significantly oversubscribed. More than anything this demonstrates the faith and confidence shown by major investors in our combined Group and our future ambitions.”
Kamyar Niroumand, co-CEO, added: “We are very excited by the merger. There is a very significant opportunity in the European financial services marketplace and this combination will create a leading pan-European credit management business. This is a perfect strategic fit driven by tremendous growth potential.” Alongside Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – which rolled over the whole of its investment into the new venture – members of Lowell Group and GFKL management team remain shareholders.