Permira funds complete Lowell acquisition and merger with GFKL 

Successful secured notes offer sees strong demand from investors

London, 23 October, 2015 – 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.

Launch of Lowell Solicitors marks a new era for the Lowell Group

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt recovery services, today announces the launch of Lowell Solicitors Limited, creating a number of new roles within the Group.

Lowell Group is one of the few businesses in its industry which has applied, and gained approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), to operate its own Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

Lowell Solicitors will be based in the Group’s headquarters in Leeds and led by James Riley, Director of Legal Operations.

Sara de Tute, Lowell’s Chief Risk Officer (CRO) and Legal Counsel commented:

“The launch of Lowell Solicitors is a huge step forward for us. It will have the same professional and ethical standards as the rest of the Lowell Group and is committed to ensuring customers are treated fairly and achieving fair outcomes.

“This is yet another milestone within Lowell Group’s remarkable journey of success. As well as the benefits experienced by our customers, Lowell Solicitors will also bring greater operational efficiencies. The creation of a law firm within the Group means that issuing legal instructions will be easier and our ability to share more customer insight and data will be strengthened. We will also be able to exert an even higher level of oversight, thereby offering more assurance to our clients and our regulators.”

Launch of Garfunkelux Holdco 3 S.A.’s senior secured notes due 2022 and Garfunkelux Holdco 2 S.A.’s senior notes due 2023 offering

Permira (“Permira” or the “Permira Funds”), the international private equity firm, announced today that companies backed by the Permira Funds, Garfunkelux Holdco 3 S.A. (the “Senior Secured Notes Issuer”) and Garfunkelux Holdco 2 S.A. (the “Senior Notes Issuer”), intend to launch an offering (the “Offering”) of £555.0 million in aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes (the “Senior Secured Notes”) and £240.0 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes (the “Senior Notes” and together with the Senior Notes, the “Notes”), respectively.  The proceeds from the Offering will be used to repay amounts outstanding on certain high yield bridge facilities (the “Bridge Facilities”). The Bridge Facilities are expected to be drawn on October 13, 2015 and will be used, along with an equity contribution from Permira, to fund Permira’s acquisition of Lowell Group (which is expected to occur on October 13, 2015), redeem Lowell Group’s existing 5.875% senior secured notes due 2019 and 10.75% senior secured notes due 2019, to pay certain fees and expenses relating to the Bridge Facilities and for general corporate purposes. There can be no assurance that the acquisition of the Lowell Group, the Offering or other financing transactions will be completed.

For queries, please contact:

Lowell

Karen Leech                                                                                        +44 (0) 78 8019 1396

Karen.leech@lowellgroup.co.uk

GFKL

Marc Schillinger                                                                                   +49 (0) 20 1102 1195

Marc.Schillinger@gfkl.com

Permira

Noémie de Andia, Head of Communications                                     +44 (0) 207 632 1159

noemie.deandia@permira.com

Cautionary Statement

This press release is for information purposes only and does not constitute a prospectus or any offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security in the United States of America or in any other jurisdiction. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States of America absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Notes will be offered in a private offering exempt from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and will accordingly be offered only to (i) qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act, (ii) certain persons outside the United States in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act and (iii) Qualified Purchasers (as defined in Section 2(a)(51)(A) of the Investment Company Act).  No indebtedness incurred in connection with any other financing transactions will be registered under the Securities Act.

This announcement does not constitute and shall not, in any circumstances, constitute a public offering nor an invitation to the public in connection with any offer within the meaning of the Directive 2010/73/EU of the Parliament and Council of November 4, 2003 as implemented by the Member States of the European Economic Area (the “Prospectus Directive”). The offer and sale of the Notes will be made pursuant to an exemption under the Prospectus Directive, as implemented in Member States of the European Economic Area, from the requirement to produce a prospectus for offers of securities

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may include “forward looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward looking statements can be identified by the use of forward looking terminology, including the terms ‘‘believes,’’ ‘‘estimates,’’ ‘‘anticipates,’’ ‘‘expects,’’ ‘‘intends,’’ ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘will’’ or ‘‘should’’ or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts and include statements regarding Permira, Lowell, GFKL or their respective affiliates’ intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, Permira, Lowell, GFKL or their respective affiliates’ results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industry in which it operates. By their nature, forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Readers are cautioned that forward looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that Permira, Lowell, GFKL or their respective affiliates’ actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which they operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward looking statements contained in this press release. In addition, even if Permira, Lowell, GFKL or their respective affiliates’ results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which Permira, Lowell or GFKL operate are consistent with the forward looking statements contained in this press release, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not rely on forward looking statements as a prediction of actual results.

Lowell Group announces the conditional redemption of its Senior Secured Notes

On October 5th 2015, Lowell Group Financing plc (the “Issuer”) issued notices of conditional redemption with respect to the entire outstanding principal amount of its £275,000,000 10.750% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 (the “10.750% Notes) and the entire outstanding principal amount of its £115,000,000 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 (the “5.875% Notes” and, together with the 10.750% Notes, the “Notes”).

The Notes redemption is conditional upon the Issuer’s receipt of sufficient funds to redeem the Notes in full (including applicable premia) and to pay all related expenses and repay the existing senior revolving credit facilities agreement in full and pay all related expenses on the completion of the acquisition of the Lowell Group by a company controlled by the Permira funds.  The redemption date is scheduled for October 15, 2015.  The Issuer will communicate on or around October 14, 2015 if the conditions for redemption of the Notes are satisfied.

Disclaimer

The securities referred to in this announcement have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Matters discussed in this announcement may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and may be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intends,” “estimate,” “will,” “may,” “continue,” “should” and similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions.