News

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.

Lowell Group continues to deliver strong underlying performance in Q3 2015 and confirms a change in its ownership structure

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt recovery services, today announces continued double digit growth in both acquisitions and collections in the third quarter of its 2015 financial year (1 April 2015 to 30 June 2015) when compared to the same period in 2014.

Highlights

  • A company backed by the Permira funds has entered into an agreement to acquire Lowell Group from majority shareholder TDR Capital
  • £60.0 million portfolio investments acquired in Q3 2015, up by 65% compared to Q3 2014
  • Collections of £57.8 million in the quarter, up 13% compared with Q3 2014
  • Adjusted EBITDA of £36.3 million in the quarter, up 12% compared with Q3 2014
  • 27% growth year on year in 84 month ERC to £830.7 million
  • 34% growth year on year in 120 month ERC to £972.3 million
  • Customer accounts has increased from the same period last year, by 27% to 18.2 million
  • As at 30 June 2015, aggregate face value of debt acquired since inception totalled £14.7 billion, an increase of 19% from the same period in 2014
  • Alternative Business Structure (ABS) application approved by Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

Commenting on the results, Colin Storrar, CFO, said:

“I’m delighted to announce another excellent set of results in a quarter where we’ve seen record quarterly portfolio acquisitions.

Outside of our ongoing acquisition success, our principle key metrics show further strong quarter on quarter growth, with collections increasing 13% to £58 million and Adjusted EBITDA increasing 12% to £36 million. At the same time, our balance sheet continues to grow – our 84 month estimated remaining collections now stands at £831 million and 120 month at £972 million.

As a result of changing legislation which allows corporate entities to own a solicitors firm under the ABS rules, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has granted us approval to establish our own in-house legal firm, Lowell Solicitors. We are one of the few businesses in our industry who have applied and received confirmation from the SRA to proceed. The company will begin to operate on completion of the change in ownership.

Finally the announcement that a company backed by the Permira funds has entered into an agreement to acquire Lowell Group from majority shareholder TDR Capital is great news for all parties. The merger of Lowell and GFKL, a company already owned by the Permira funds, will significantly broaden the scope and reach of our combined services and leverage the significant client, skill and process synergies between both businesses. GFKL is one of Germany’s leading experts in outsourcing of receivables management services.”

A copy of the results presentation is available via www.lowellgroup.co.uk/investor

Permira funds to back the merger of Lowell Group and GFKL to create a leading pan-European credit management business

London, 7 August 2015 – Permira, the international private equity firm, announced today that a company backed by the Permira funds has entered into an agreement to acquire Lowell Group from majority shareholder TDR Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Lowell Group is a leading UK provider of credit management services specialising in credit management and data analytics. The Permira funds will merge Lowell Group with existing portfolio company GFKL, a leading provider of receivables management services in Germany, to create a leading pan-European credit management business. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’) and the management of Lowell Group will remain shareholders. The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015, is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Combining both market-leaders will create one of the largest credit management businesses in Europe with unparalleled growth prospects and very complementary competencies in debt purchase and outsourced credit services. The combined group has over 15 million customers and a leading market position in the two largest European financial services markets, Germany and the UK. The Group’s new multi-national operating model mirrors that of the larger credit providers, including Santander, Vodafone and Barclaycard, presenting an opportunity to further strengthen existing strategic client relationships. The combination will enhance the service that the group can provide to its customers and will have tremendous client benefits.

The senior management teams will remain in place and James Cornell, CEO of Lowell Group, and Kamyar Niroumand, CEO of GFKL, will co-run the company and are excited about the numerous opportunities today’s merger represents. The Permira funds’ investment is a significant endorsement of both GFKL’s and Lowell Group’s track record, current strength and future growth prospects.

Further Information

Further information on today’s transaction will be available on www.lowellgroup.co.uk and www.gfkl.com in due course.

Welcoming the Permira funds’ investment, James Cornell, CEO of Lowell Group, said:

“We are delighted to have attracted backing from such a renowned global investor as the Permira funds. Furthermore, retaining investment from Teachers’ is a huge testament to our success to date and a strong endorsement to the potential of our future Group. Over the last four years under TDR ownership, Lowell has grown significantly to become one of the largest and most established debt purchasers in the UK, employing over 1,200 people. With this transaction, Lowell is embarking on its next phase of growth, both in the UK and to create a leading pan-European credit management business. We look forward to realising the many opportunities to share best practice and collectively grow a stronger combined Group with GFKL, a company we have held in high regard for some time.”

Kamyar Niroumand, CEO of GFKL, added:

“We are thrilled that our new partnership with the Permira funds is already bearing fruit. This combination is a win-win deal. GFKL will benefit from Lowell’s best in class debt recovery and data analytics capabilities, while Lowell will profit from our successful track-record in business process outsourcing. This is a perfect strategic fit driven by tremendous revenue and growth potential.”

Philip Muelder, UK head of Permira and Chairman of GFKL, commented:

“We are incredibly excited to be bringing together two best-in-class financial services businesses, thereby delivering on the consolidation strategy outlined at the funds’ acquisition of GFKL. Together they will form a powerful leading pan-European Group with strong growth opportunities. This latest acquisition and merger is another example of our commitment to back growing businesses in Europe and to capitalise on our deep industry knowledge and global network to create best-in-class leaders in the financial services sector.”

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Media Contacts:

Lowell

Carol Ord                                                                                     +44 (0)7814 430 330

carol.ord@lowellgroup.co.uk

 GFKL

Philipp Halstrick, Hering Schuppener Consulting                               +49 69 92 18 74 55

phalstrick@heringschuppener.com

Permira

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

noemie.deandia@permira.com 

Notes to Editors

About Lowell

Lowell Group, headquartered in Leeds, is a leading consumer credit management group. It comprises two distinct businesses, Lowell Financial and Fredrickson. Lowell Financial, based in Leeds, specialises in investing in defaulted consumer debt portfolios and their recovery, while Fredrickson, based in Surrey, is a multi-award winning Debt Collection Agency (DCA).

Lowell Financial invests in non-performing consumer debt from a wide range of major creditors, across various industries, including financial services, communications, home retail credit and utilities.  Established in 2004, Lowell Financial has acquired in excess of 17 million accounts and has nine million customers, which represents a significant proportion of the UK’s credit active population.  The company is committed to treating its customers fairly, offering realistic, affordable and sustainable payment plans tailored to their individual circumstances.

About GFKL

GFKL 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. GFKL has a huge growth potential in Germany and worldwide. An increasing number of companies are outsourcing their receivables management today, particularly small and medium-sized businesses which often lack the resources to do it themselves. GFKL’s competency in receivables management comprises a wide portfolio and high quality standards. GFKL has repeatedly been awarded Standard & Poor’s best possible servicer rating “Strong, Outlook Stable”. The company is headquartered in Essen, Germany.

For further information visit www.gfkl.com

About Permira

Permira is a global investment firm that finds and backs successful businesses with ambition. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately €25 billion. The Permira funds make long-term investments in companies with the ambition of transforming their performance and driving sustainable growth. In the past 30 years, the Permira funds have made over 200 private equity investments in five key sectors: Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials and Technology. Permira employs over 200 people including 120 investment professionals in 14 offices across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Permira funds have a strong track record of successfully investing in financial services companies. Current portfolio companies include Saga, Just Retirement, Tilney Bestinvest and GFKL. For further information visit:  www.permira.com