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Lowell Group, a leading debt purchase company, today announced that is has increased its existing revolving credit facility (“RCF”) from £40 million to £55 million, with the support of the company’s existing lenders Lloyds and JPMorgan. The increased credit facility is based on the same terms as the original agreement and includes an uncommitted accordion, which allows the company to increase the size of the facility by a further £15 million.

Against a backdrop of very attractive market conditions and continued strong operating performance, the increased RCF will further enhance Lowell Group’s strong liquidity position and provide additional capacity for portfolio purchases.

James Cornell, Lowell Group’s CEO, commented: “We value the continued support of our lending partners. The increase in our RCF further enhances our financial flexibility and reflects the attractiveness of the portfolio purchase opportunities we are seeing in the market. We are well placed to continue our strong track record of growth going forward.”

Lowell Group recently announced its annual results for 2011/12 which included reporting a record year for portfolio purchases representing an investment of £90.7 million, a 30% increase on the previous year. Lowell Group purchased 113 new portfolios, which saw it reach the milestone of managing 10 million customer accounts with a face value of £9.0 billion.

“The additional funding will enable us to continue our calculated progress in existing and new sectors” continued James. “We will continue our focus on building long-term strategic partnerships with key clients and maximising value-added capital deployment solutions.”

The increase in RCF builds on the successful placement of a high yield bond in March 2012 which saw the company raise £200 million. It is further evidence of the effectiveness of Lowell’s partnership with TDR Capital.

 

For further information contact: Carol Ord, Head of Communications, Lowell Group. Tel. 0113 2856570, E-mail: carol.ord@lowellgroup.co.ukMobile 07814 430330

Lowell Giving, a charitable fundraising unit which is run entirely by the team at Lowell Group, the UK’s leading debt purchasing specialist, has raised £12,245 for good causes during 2012.

Throughout the year, team members at Leeds and Preston-based Lowell organised and took part in a host of events to raise money for four ‘charities of the quarter’ that they nominated and voted for themselves. The charities they chose were Cancer Research UK, Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire, Help for Heroes and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Fundraising events ranged from collecting unwanted items for charity shops, cake bakes and quizzes through to a tandem sky dive and a series of team challenges, including the Great North Run and the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The events raised £1,200 for Cancer Research UK, £2,078 for Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire, £1,878 for Help for Heroes and £2,398 for Alzheimer’s Society.

In addition to raising money for the four charities a team from Lowell took part in the infamous Trailtrekker Challenge, a 100km trek through the Yorkshire Dales in under 30 hours, which raised £4,691 for Oxfam.

Dicky Davies, Lowell Group’s business development director, who is the internal ambassador for Lowell Giving, commented:

We set up Lowell Giving in 2011 to provide a more focused approach to charitable fundraising within the company and to encourage team member participation and ownership, and I’m really proud of what’s been achieved again this year.

 

Team Lowell really stepped up to the plate – almost 50 per cent of team members across Leeds and Preston took part in fundraising events during the year.

In 2013 Lowell Giving will be adopting a different approach, focusing support on one charity throughout the year, which, as previously, has been voted for by team members.

Lowell’s chosen charity for 2013 is Leeds Children’s Charity, which aims to give local children aged 7-11, from some of the most deprived areas of the city, the chance to visit the seaside, make friends and have fun. The charity runs its own holiday centre near Morecambe and the children are typically put forward by their schools to be considered for a place.

Dicky Davies explained:

By splitting our annual funds across four charities we’ve had a wide-reaching impact, but this year we’re keen to really get under the skin of a charity and have an even bigger impact. We’re looking forward to building a deeper relationship with the Leeds Children’s Charity, offering them the skills and time of our team as well as supporting them financially.

Lowell Group, the UK’s leading debt purchaser, has achieved the prestigious honour of being selected as an ‘Investors in People Champion’, responsible for encouraging and supporting other organisations to become Investors in People by sharing best practice.

Launched by the government in 1991, Investors in People is the UK’s leading people management standard, designed to help all kinds of organisations develop performance through their people.

Champions are handpicked from organisations that have achieved the highest scores in gaining Investors in People Gold status, which demonstrates they operate the highest standards of people management and development to achieve their business goals.

Out of 30,000 organisations that have become Investors in People since 1991, only around 600 have achieved Gold status and of those less than 200 have been selected as Champions.

In order to achieve Gold status and subsequently be selected as a Champion, Lowell Group not only had to demonstrate commitment from senior management to team member communication, development and engagement; but also provide compelling evidence that all team members are fully engaged in the vision, values and development of the business.

As well as sharing best practice by taking part in presentations, mentoring and open days, Lowell Group’s role as a Champion will include becoming involved in the future development and evaluation of the Investors in People framework.

James Cornell, Lowell Group’s chief executive officer said:

Our success to date is built on the quality and commitment of our people; we have a fantastic team of over 550 people who understand what we are trying to achieve, are totally engaged, and work together to help us deliver our business goals. It’s a real honour to be selected as an Investor in People Champion and we are looking forward to helping other organisations in any way we can.

Following a robust 2012 for its Preston-based debt recovery operation, Lowell Group is looking to recruit 10 new telephone negotiators in January, which will take the team in Preston from 20 to 30.

Lowell Group is the UK’s leading debt purchasing specialist. It buys consumer credit accounts from a wide range of organisations, including banks and credit card companies, retailers, mobile phone and home shopping companies, and then helps the account holders to settle their debts by offering them realistic and affordable repayment solutions to suit their individual circumstances.

The company, which employs over 550 people in total, set up its Preston operation in 2011 to support its main centre in Leeds.

Gary Jones, who heads up Lowell Preston, explained:

We are looking for bright enthusiastic people to join our team. We want people with a desire to succeed and strong work ethic, as well as a commitment to the fair and ethical treatment of our customers. If you have worked in a call centre environment, or are used to working towards targets, then we have the perfect role waiting for you.

 

All of our telephone negotiators receive the best, most comprehensive, training in the industry which is confirmed by Lowell recently achieving the highest average score across the industry in the Credit Services Association’s Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI). The CAI is an online test that examines the knowledge and competencies required to perform the role of a professional collector.

Towards the end of last year Lowell Group was awarded Investors in People Gold in recognition of its ‘world class’ approach to developing its people. It is one of only 14 organisations in Preston and 600 nationwide to have been awarded Gold status.

Gary added:

We are very proud of what we have achieved in Preston in such a short space of time and we have ambitious growth plans for the future

Lowell Group plans to publish its interim financial results for the first quarter 2013 (1 Sept 12–30 Nov 12) on the investment section of the Lowell Group website at 8.00am GMT on Monday 28th January 2013. Access is by request via the following link:

/index.php/investors

 

TELECONFERENCE – In addition, at 1.30pm on Monday 28th January, Lowell Group’s CEO James Cornell plans to hold an audio conference presentation on the company’s performance.

To access this audio conference, participants will need to register in advance at:

 

http://emea.directeventreg.com/registration/85682800

 

They will then be allocated the conference call number, a participant user pin, conference pin and instructions on how to join the conference call.

Ends

For further information contact: Carol Ord, Head of Communications, Lowell Group. Tel. 0113 2856570, E-mail: carol.ord@lowellgroup.co.ukMobile 07814 430330