News

Lowell and GFKL Group Announces New Board Appointments

Lowell and GFKL Group has appointed its new Group Chair, Heinz Hilgert, and announced the appointment of Christopher Trepel, PhD as its Group Chief Science Officer.

Heinz Hilgert has significant international banking experience, was formerly CEO of WestLB and Deputy CEO of DZ Bank, and has served in Non Executive Director and Chairman roles in the areas of consumer credit, asset management and private banking.  Heinz will work with other non-executive representatives from Permira Funds and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), the Group’s investors, as well as Adrian Hill, the existing UK Chair, on the Group’s Non-Executive Investor Board.

Christopher Trepel, PhD joins as Group Chief Science Officer from Fenway Summer LLC, a Washington DC-based financial services investment firm, where he serves as an Operating Partner in Fenway Summer’s venture capital fund. He previously held the post of Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group. Chris will lead the enterprise-wide Decision Science Programme to further enhance the Group’s market-leading strengths in data analytics and asset pricing.  

The Group has also announced the remaining members of its Group Executive Board, consisting of key members from both its UK and German Executive Teams:

  • It will be jointly led by James Cornell, CEO of Lowell Group, and Kamyar Niroumand, CEO of GFKL.
  • Lowell’s Colin Storrar will act as overall Group Chief Finance Officer.
  • Lowell’s Sara de Tute will head up Group Legal and Compliance.
  • GFKL’s Marc Schillinger will be responsible for Group Sales with a view to optimising synergies between the UK and German markets.
  • The structure is also complimented by the existing UK and German Boards.

Commenting on the announcement, James Cornell, co-CEO, said:

“We are delighted to announce our new Group and our impressive new appointments: Heinz and Chris. We start a new chapter as one of Europe’s leading end-to-end credit management service providers whose vast experience and expertise will cement our leadership position, which is anchored by our core strengths in data analytics and operational efficiency.  Quite simply, we believe we are well positioned to become the marketplace’s most trusted and reputable partner in European receivables management.”

Kamy Niroumand, co-CEO, said:

“The launch of our Group heralds a new chapter in European consumer receivables management. I am proud to lead this new venture, and our dynamic executive team, alongside James. With our new Group we have brought together the finest talents from across our industry, and are further enhanced by the significant business expertise and experience of Heinz and Chris. Together, we will better serve our core markets in Germany and the UK and, in time, cement our leadership position across the wider European landscape.”

The combination of Lowell and GFKL, market leaders in the UK and Germany, has created one of the largest credit management businesses in Europe. With the backing of both global investment firm Permira funds and OTPP, the new Group will capitalise on the strong growth opportunities available by taking advantage of the complementary skill sets and the collective expertise of the two companies. The Group’s ambition is to be the most trusted and reputable partner in European receivables management.

 

 

Media Contacts:

GFKL

Marc Schillinger +49 (0) 201 102 1195

Marc.Schillinger@gfkl.com

Lowell

Karen Leech +44 (0) 113 285 6595

Karen.Leech@lowellgroup.co.uk

About Lowell and GFKL Group

The Group was created in October 2015, following Lowell’s acquisition by Permira Funds and its subsequent merger with GFKL. Lowell was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Leeds. It is one of the UK’s largest receivables management companies, employing over 1,200 people and comprises Lowell Financial, Fredrickson and Lowell Solicitors. Lowell has in excess of 17 million accounts and has nine million customers, which represents a significant proportion of the UK’s credit active population. For further information visit http://www.lowellgroup.co.uk/

GFKL is headquartered in Essen, Germany and is the largest non-captive receivables management company in Germany. It is a full service provider – from risk to receivables management services with an international customer portfolio.   It employs 950 people and manages a receivables portfolio of EUR 16.6 billion for clients from various industries, including banks, insurance companies, online retailers and telecommunications companies. The company is one of the very few service providers in the market that has a high-quality professional receivables management offering, servicing not only major corporations but also medium-sized companies.  For further information visit http://www.gfkl.com/

Heinz Hilgert

Heinz was formerly the CEO of WestLB and Deputy CEO of DZ Bank AG. Heinz currently holds the position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DataGroup AG and is Senior Advisor to Muzinich & Co, New York and Credit Suisse Investment Bank, London.

Christopher Trepel, PhD

Chris has extensive executive management expertise in corporate strategy, data analytics and consumer behaviour. He is currently an Operating Partner in Fenway Summer’s venture capital fund and was previously SVP and Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ: ECPG).  Before that, he served at Wells Fargo Bank and McKinsey & Company.  Chris’ research has been published widely in academic journals and the popular press.

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.