News

Lowell Finance Holdings Limited (“Lowell”) today announced the pricing of £75 million aggregate principal amount of additional 10.75% senior secured notes due 2019 to be issued by its subsidiary, Lowell Group Financing plc. The notes will constitute a further issuance of the 10.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 issued by Lowell Group Financing plc on March 30, 2012. Lowell anticipates that the offering will close on February 11, 2013 and intends to use the proceeds from the offering to repay certain of its outstanding drawings under its revolving credit facility and for additional cash funding.

The notes are being offered in a private placement outside the United States to non-U.S. persons in reliance on Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act.  The notes will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act or securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or pursuant to an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and any other applicable securities laws.  This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the notes, nor shall it constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful.

This announcement does not constitute a public offering, nor an invitation to the public in connection with any offer, within the meaning of the Prospectus Directive.  The offer and sale of the notes will be made pursuant to an exemption under the Prospectus Directive from the requirement to produce a prospectus for offers of securities.  “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC (and amendments thereto, including the 2010 PD Amending Directive, to the extent implemented in the Relevant Member State), and includes any relevant implementing measure in the any relevant member state of the European Economic Area.  “2010 PD Amending Directive” means Directive 2010/73/EU.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this announcement that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements.  All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could affect Lowell’s actual results and could cause its actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statements made by, or on behalf of, Lowell.

 

For further information, please contact our investors’ relations:

Carol Ord

Tel: +44 (0)113 285 6570

E-mail: investors@lowellgroup.co.uk

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, today announces its interim financial results for the first quarter 2013 (1 Sept 12-30 Nov 12).

Highlights

  • Estimated remaining collections (ERC) of £442.1 million, up 31% since November 30, 2011
  • Strong Unlevered Net IRR at 24.2% (37.9% after collection activity costs)
  • Collections of £37.1 million in the quarter, up 18% compared to the three months ended November 30, 2011
  • Collections on portfolios owned at August 31, 2012 performing at 105% of ERC projections from August 31, 2012
  • Adjusted EBITDA of £26.1 million in the quarter, up 21% compared to the three months ended November 30, 2011
  • Portfolio purchases of £14.8 million in the quarter, up 43% compared to the three months ended November 30, 2011
  • Continued very strong performance in December 2012 with ERC increasing to £467.5 million and portfolio purchases to £43.5 million year to date (4 months), 30% and 72% up on prior year, respectively

Commenting on the results, James Cornell, CEO, said:

“I am pleased to report continued strong progress with significant growth across all our key performance indicators, including collections, portfolio acquisitions, adjusted EBITDA, and ERC.

“Adjusted EBITDA for the period of £26.1 million was up 21% on the corresponding period last year. We achieved quarterly collections of £37.1 million, up 18% on last year, while our portfolio purchases totalled £14.8 million – a 43% increase.

“We are achieving this growth while continuing to deliver high and resilient return on capital and cash flow generation from our asset base.

“The result of our strong all round performance is that ERC, which underpins the balance sheet value of our debt portfolios, has increased 31% over the last 12 months to £442.1 million.

“We remain focused on low balance portfolios in our core market sectors – financial services, communications and home retail credit – and on building an asset base well-diversified across numerous portfolios, sectors, clients and debt types. We continue to make calculated progress in new sectors, including utilities and government debt where we are active in emerging debt sales and trials.

“At the same time, we are maintaining our investments in the development of our systems to enhance operational efficiency, including increased use of email to reduce postage costs and the roll-out of speech analytics software to allow on-going monitoring of calls.

“Compliance continues to be of paramount importance and we have already taken steps to comply with the OFT’s revised guidance on debt collection, which was published in November 2012.

“Figures for December, which included significant portfolio purchases of £28.7 million, show the business is extending its track record of strong performance. Looking forward, prospects remain very attractive.  Since the end of November, we have seen a substantial volume of debt sale activity with opportunities presented to the company totalling over £2.2 billion of debt at face value from 17 different vendors. We are also continuing our sector diversification with the majority of December purchases in home retail credit.

“We benefit from significant visibility on our portfolio purchases for the year, as a result of the high percentage of forward flow agreements we have with clients and completed spot purchases year to date. The majority of our budgeted portfolio purchases for the year was already committed by December 2012.

“Furthermore, we have strengthened our ability to take advantage of these opportunities, and thereby enhance our ERC, by increasing our revolving credit facility from £40 million to £55 million with an uncommitted accordion option for a further £15 million. This also demonstrates the continued support of our senior lenders.”

Ends

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.