News

Lowell, a European leader in credit management services backed by the Permira funds and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, has today entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the carve-out business from Intrum. The carve-out comprises Lindorff’s entire business in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden as well as Intrum Justitia’s entire business in Norway and was specified by the European Commission as a condition of the combination of the two companies earlier this year.

The transaction is valued at EUR 730 million on an enterprise value basis and is subject to the approval of Lowell as purchaser by the European Commission, as well as customary competition and regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in H1 2018. The acquisition is expected to be funded through a combination of new debt issuance and equity.

Combining the two businesses fits well with Lowell’s strategic objective to develop sustainable competitive advantage across Europe in chosen markets and to support continued growth. The transaction will create one of the largest credit management service providers in Europe and make Lowell a market leader across the Nordic region.

Lowell’s expertise, management and financial resources, alongside this group’s strong business mix, rich talent and regional reach, provide the combined group with excellent opportunities to drive further growth and diversification in a highly developed, data-rich credit market.

The combined business will benefit from greater scale and diversification in terms of broader geographic reach and a more balanced revenue mix together with a complementary and client-focused product offering.

Lowell and the carve-out business share an overarching commitment to a fair and principled business approach that puts people at the heart of the culture, whether that is clients, consumers or colleagues. This shared, values-based approach will be central to our integration and provide consistency to our vision: to be the best in our field. For clients. For consumers. Europe-wide.

James Cornell, CEO Lowell, said:

“I’m pleased to be extending the Lowell family today. Our shared commitment to innovation and best practice for consumers and clients alike, will significantly strengthen our service proposition across the credit management value chain.

“I believe that the combination of our operations and cultures is highly compelling and, together, I am convinced that we can continue to drive growth across one of Europe’s most sophisticated credit markets through our combined expertise and experience.”

Trond Brandsrud, CEO carve-out business, said:

“We are excited to welcome our new owners and to become part of Lowell. This means getting an owner with deep expertise and a strong standing within our industry. The combination of the two of us will be extremely compelling.”

About Lowell:

Lowell is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and a vision to be the best in its field in Europe. For clients. For consumers. Europe-wide. Lowell combines its principled approach, international experience, deep understanding of data analytics and operational efficiency to serve every part of the credit management value chain, with expertise in debt purchasing, third party collections, business process outsourcing, credit management and e-commerce.

Previously named Lowell GFKL Group, Lowell was formed in 2015 following the merger of the UK and German market leaders: the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group. It is backed by global private equity firm Permira – whose funds first invested in 2015, backing the Lowell-GFKL merger – and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Lowell is headquartered in both Leeds (UK) and Essen (Germany). For more information on Lowell, please visit our investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

About the Carve-out Business:

The carve-out business comprises Lindorff’s businesses in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden as well as Intrum Justitia’s business in Norway and has been divested to address potential competition concerns raised by the European Commission following its investigation into the combination between Lindorff and Intrum Justitia. It is a full-service credit management service provider, offering services within debt collection and debt purchase as well as payment and invoicing services with approximately 900 colleagues. For the last twelve months to September 30, 2017, the carve-out business estimated revenues amount to approximately EUR 190 million. As of September 30, 2017, the carve-out business had purchased debt portfolios with a book value of approximately EUR 400 million.

Q3-17 Bond Call 23 November

Further information regarding the acquisition will be shared during our Q3-17 results call scheduled for Thursday November 23.

Key contacts:

Investor Relations enquiries:

Jon Trott, Head of Investor Relations
Telephone: +44 333 556 5801 Ext. 30084
Email: investors@lowellgroup.co.uk

Media enquiries:
Jason Clarke, Communications Lead UK
Telephone: +44 7768 260 293
Email: media@lowellgroup.co.uk

Henrik Hannemann, Communications Lead DACH Region
Telephone: +49 201 102 1172
Email: pr@lowellgroup.de

James Olley, Communications Support UK
Telephone: +44 7974 982 302
Email: jolley@montfort.london

Sofie Zetterlund, Communications Lead Nordic Region
Telephone: +46 70 570 0997
Email: sofie.zetterlund@fogelpartners.se

Lowell has announced further changes to its Group Executive team today. Current Group Chief Risk Officer, Sara de Tute, has been appointed to the UK Board as a new Non-Executive Director (NED), she will be succeeded by Laurence Bogni-Bartholmé, who joins the Group from Wells Fargo. Laurence starts on 1st September.

After five years with Lowell, current Group CRO, Sara de Tute, has decided to accept a non-executive director role, joining the UK Board from 1st October, and will sit on the UK Risk and Audit Committees. Sara intends to continue in her position on the Board of the Credit Services Association.

Under Sara’s guidance and leadership, the Compliance and Risk functions have developed and made significant progress. Sara has provided valued counsel to the Group CEO and Executive, and was pivotal to the Group achieving FCA authorisation in the UK. In joining the UK Board, Lowell is pleased to retain her breadth of experience and knowledge, which will be vital at a strategic level as the business enters its next stage of growth.

With almost 25 years’ experience in Audit and Risk, Laurence Bogni-Bartholmé, joins Lowell from Wells Fargo, where she was Head of International Risk Oversight EMEA. Born in France, Laurence is a graduate of the University Paris-Dauphine (UPD), with post-graduate studies (UK Masters degree equivalence) at UPD and University Aix en Provence. Her extensive studies covered accounting, finance, tax and audit. As Group CRO, Laurence will report to Group CEO, James Cornell and will lead the risk and compliance functions across Lowell. She will join the Group Executive and become a member of the Group Board.

Having initially joined international audit, tax and accountancy firm, KPMG, from university, Laurence has worked in senior Risk roles for some of the most respected names in financial services across Europe, including Credit Agricole and GE Capital. In 2014, Laurence joined Wells Fargo as Head of International Risk Oversight EMEA in the Corporate Risk division, where she was responsible for providing independent oversight and credible challenge to strengthen risk management and foundational business practices. Her area of responsibility included operational risk management, regulatory compliance risk management, financial crime, information security and technology risk management for all jurisdictions, countries, legal entities and businesses in the EMEA region.

Commenting on the appointments, CEO, James Cornell said:

“I am pleased to welcome Laurence to the team. We have significant growth plans, and a strong and resilient approach to risk across the business is vitally important to delivering them. With her years of experience across European markets, she will be real asset to the business as we enter the next stage of our growth.

“I would like to extend my thanks to Sara for the years of help and support she has provided me, the executive team and the business more widely. To have her join the UK Board as a Non-Executive Director is recognition of how much we value her insight, experience and her contribution to the success of the Group to date.”

“I welcome Sara and Laurence to their new roles, and look forward to working closely with both of them to deliver our risk, strategic and commercial goals.”

It has also been confirmed that new Group General Counsel & UK CRO, Bill Flynn, whose appointment was recently announced, will take up office from 4th September.

Note to Editors

About Lowell:

Lowell is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with operations in the UK, Germany and Austria, and a vision to be the best in its field in Europe. Lowell combines its principled approach, international experience, deep understanding of data analytics and operational efficiency to serve every part of the credit management value chain, with expertise in debt purchasing, third party collections, business process outsourcing, credit management and e-commerce.

Previously named Lowell GFKL Group, Lowell was formed in 2015 following the merger of the UK and German market leaders: the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group. It is backed by global private equity firm Permira, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and is headquartered in both Leeds (UK) and Essen (Germany). For more information on Lowell, please visit our investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

For further information, please contact:

Media enquiries:

Carol Ord, Head of Communications UK
Telephone: + 44 7814 430 330
Email: media@lowellgroup.com

Lowell, a European leader in credit management services, delivered another quarter of strong growth in the Q2 period, 1 April to 30 June 2017, it announced today.

The Group’s sustainable growth plan continues to be delivered through its consistent data-driven insight, portfolio diversification and consumer-centric focus.

Operationally, these results have been underpinned by Lowell’s continued commitment to people, strong governance, process improvement and extensive data capabilities.

Financial Highlights

  • 28% y-o-y increase in Cash Income to £143m1
  • 18% y-o-y increase in Cash EBITDA to £71m1
  • 26% y-o-y increase in ERC to £1.9bn2
  • 44% of acquisitions over the last 12 months from forward flow agreements
  • Maintained balance of acquisition mix across a range of sectors
  • Collections ahead of forecast

Operational Highlights

  • Full FCA authorisation achieved
  • First UK business to receive Investors in Customers (IIC) Gold award3
  • Senior management team further strengthened

Colin Storrar, Group Chief Financial Officer, said:

“By focusing on our core strategy of combining sophisticated decision science with class-leading customer service, we have again delivered strong quarterly growth across our key metrics.

“The Group’s work to expand its data capabilities, reinforce operating structures and put clients and consumers first, consistently underpins our operational strategy and provides a good platform for second half.”

To join the Q2 Bond call at 10.30am BST today, please register on the investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

1 for the three months to June 2017
2 as at 30 June 2017
3 relates to Lowell Financial Ltd

Overview

Lowell has continued to deliver growth in Q2 by remaining focused on its core strategy of combining advance decision science, customer-centric culture and practices with focused governance. The Group’s vision is to be recognised as the best in the industry.
Central to this plan has been achieving full FCA authorisation. This was delivered in June, following the work to complete the successful merger of the Lowell Group and GFKL.

Our customer-centric approach and wider investment in our people, continues to be recognised by respected independent bodies. The feedback of our own customers saw us receive Investor in Customers’ highest rating for the third year in succession, and become the first to take its newly branded “Gold” status.

Ensuring the business has the highest quality leadership which blends insight and experience is key to its sustainable success. This quarter saw the appointment of Bill Flynn as Group Counsel and UK CRO. Bill brings deep experience of the financial services regulatory environment. We also announced Laurence Hamilton had joined us to lead our strategic business development as we look to grow our book and client base further.

Delivering our financial objectives

In the second quarter, our financial performance remained focused on growing the NPL portfolio in order to continue the upward trends in Cash Income, Cash EBITDA and Estimated Remaining Collections (ERC).

NPL portfolio acquisition saw a 22% increase for the 12 months to June versus the previous year. Cash Income rose to £143m in the quarter, compared to £112m in the corresponding quarter in 2016 and ERC reached a new record level of £1.9bn.

The quarter has also seen continued growth and investment in our unrivalled decision science and data analytics. As a result, Lowell collected 105% of forecast collections, as at December 2016, for the six months to 30 June 2017; with the Group projecting the value of ERC over the next ten years at £1.9bn and with £730m projected to be collected in the next 24 months.

We continue to drive diversification in our portfolio. This provides positive benefits through enhanced customer relationships, while helping to avoid sector and regional concentration risks. The current portfolio sector mix is 39% Financial Services, 36% Retail, 20% Communications and 5% other. ‘Off market’ acquisitions, from forward flow agreements, rose to 44% of the mix – evidence of further strong client relationships.

Notes to Editors

About Lowell:

Lowell is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with operations in the UK, Germany and Austria, and a vision to be the best in its field in Europe. Lowell combines its principled approach, international experience, deep understanding of data analytics and operational efficiency to serve every part of the credit management value chain, with expertise in debt purchasing, third party collections, business process outsourcing, credit management and e-commerce.

Previously named Lowell GFKL Group, Lowell was formed in 2015 following the merger of the UK and German market leaders: the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group. It is backed by global private equity firm Permira, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and is headquartered in both Leeds (UK) and Essen (Germany). For more information on Lowell, please visit our investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations enquiries:

Jon Trott, Head of Investor Relations
Telephone: +44 7551 153 793
Email: investors@lowellgroup.co.uk

Media enquiries:

Carol Ord, Head of Communications UK
Telephone: + 44 7814 430330
Email: media@lowellgroup.co.uk

Henrik Hannemann, Head of Communications DACH region
Telephone: +49 201 102 1172
Email: Comms@lowellgroup.de

APPOINTS GROUP GENERAL COUNSEL & UK CRO, AND MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR SERVICING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Lowell is delighted to announce two senior appointments to its UK executive team. Bill Flynn, Group General Counsel & UK Chief Risk Officer, and Laurence Hamilton, Managing Director UK Servicing & Business Development. These two appointments will further strengthen the management team as the business continues its growth strategy.

Bill Flynn joins from Wonga Group, where he was Group General Counsel. Bill joined Wonga in 2015 where was responsible for steering the business through an intensive period of regulatory scrutiny. This culminated in the business achieving FCA authorisation in 2016. Bill has an extensive financial services background, having held senior roles at GE Capital, Zurich Financial Services and Capquest.

Bill will lead the Group Legal function, reporting directly to Group CEO, James Cornell, and will be responsible for risk & compliance in the UK, reporting to a soon to be appointed a Group CRO. As a member of the UK Executive team, he will be responsible for ensuring the Group operates in line with regulatory standards and our brand values, continuing to foster a responsible culture that supports delivery of our business plan.

Laurence Hamilton joins the business from Equifax, where he was Managing Director of TDX group and Senior Vice President of International Debt Services. He has worked in financial services in a variety of capacities including general management, data analytics, marketing, sales and client relationships for over 20 years.

Laurence will take overall responsibility for the development and commercial performance of Fredrickson, the third-party collection business, and lead Lowell’s key business development strategies; developing and managing the UK business plan, where his experience will be a significant benefit. He will report to Marc Schillinger, Group Chief Sales Officer, and to Group CEO, James Cornell, pending the appointment of a UK Regional Manager.

Commenting on the appointments, CEO, James Cornell said:

“I am excited to be welcoming Bill and Laurence into the UK executive team, and look forward to working with them to achieve our vision – to be the best in our field.

“Adding such high calibre people with such extensive financial services experience is vital to evolving and delivering our business strategy, while maintaining our core values as we continue to grow.”

 

Note to Editors

About Lowell:

Lowell is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with operations in the UK, Germany and Austria, and a vision to be the best in its field in Europe. Lowell combines its principled approach, international experience, deep understanding of data analytics and operational efficiency to serve every part of the credit management value chain, with expertise in debt purchasing, third party collections, business process outsourcing, credit management and e-commerce.

Previously named Lowell GFKL Group, Lowell was formed in 2015 following the merger of the UK and German market leaders: the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group. It is backed by global private equity firm Permira, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and is headquartered in both Leeds (UK) and Essen (Germany). For more information on Lowell, please visit our investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

For further information, please contact:

Media enquiries:

Carol Ord, Head of Communications UK
Telephone: + 44 7814 430 330
Email: media@lowellgroup.com

Lowell, a leading European provider of credit management services, specialising in debt recovery, data analytics and consumer insight, announced today that its UK operating businesses – Lowell Portfolio 1 Ltd; Lowell Financial Ltd and Fredrickson International Limited – have been granted full Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation.

James Cornell, Group Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that our companies have received FCA authorisation – this is an important milestone for our Group. The fair treatment of our consumers has always been at the heart of Lowell´s business and the FCA authorisation supports our consumer-centric approach.”

Colin Storrar, Group Chief Financial Officer, added: “Compliance beyond legal requirements is a key element of our Group DNA and we are committed to continuously developing our high standards.”

Note to Editors

About Lowell:

Lowell is one of Europe’s largest credit management companies with operations in the UK, Germany and Austria, and a vision to be the best in its field in Europe. Lowell combines its principled approach, international experience, deep understanding of data analytics and operational efficiency to serve every part of the credit management value chain, with expertise in debt purchasing, third party collections, business process outsourcing, credit management and e-commerce. Previously named Lowell GFKL Group, Lowell was formed in 2015 following the merger of the UK and German market leaders: the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group. It is backed by global private equity firm Permira, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and is headquartered in both Leeds (UK) and Essen (Germany). For more information on Lowell, please visit our investor website: www.lowellgroup.com

For further information, please contact:

Media enquiries:

Carol Ord, Head of Communications UK
Telephone: + 44 7814 430 330
Email: media@lowellgroup.com