UK’s Lowell Group inks deal to acquire Intrum’s Nordic carve-out business

UK Permira-backed debt collector The Lowell Group has signed a deal to acquire Intrum’s ‘carve-out’ business, formerly badged Lindorff, in a number of European jurisdictions.

This will at a swoop make Lowell Europe’s second largest credit management player.

What Lowell is calling Intrum’s ‘carve-out business’ comprises what were formerly Lindorff businesses in Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Denmark, plus Intrum Justitia’s whole Norway division.

The offload has come about because, when Intrum and Lindorff merged on 27 June this year, regulatory approval of the deal from the European Commission (EC) was conditional upon the new group divesting itself of its businesses in these jurisdictions.

The deal is worth €730m (£640m) and is subject to EC approval of Lowell Group as purchaser, as well as customary competition and regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

Lowell chief executive James Cornell, pictured above, said that the two groups formed a good fit, with a “shared commitment to innovation and best practice for consumers and clients alike”.

The acquisition would, he said, “significantly strengthen” Lowell’s “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.”

An ‘extremely compelling’ partnership

Trond Brandsrud, CEO of the carve-out business, said that the company was “excited” to welcome its new owners and to become part of Lowell.

“This means getting an owner with deep expertise and a strong standing within our industry,” he said, adding that the combination of the two groups will be “extremely compelling”.

Lowell has operations in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The company was formed in 2015 following the merger of the the Lowell Group and the GFKL Group, the UK and German market leaders. It was previously named the Lowell GFKL Group. It is backed by the global private equity firm Permira and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The company also has a headquarters in Essen in Germany.

Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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