Debt Purchase Group competitor buy out

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DEBT purchaser Lowell Group has acquired the Interlacken Group in a move to bring additional strength to the firm.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see ownership of the Surrey-based debt collection agencies group transfer to Leeds-based Lowell Group, along with the 300 plus employees. This includes Interlacken’s widely known Fredrickson International brand.

The move brings together two well-established innovators in the debt recovery industry.

The two companies have worked together successfully over many years. Both are widely recognised as leaders in their respective fields and Lowell Group intends to run its operations and the operations of the Interlaken Group separately, in order for each group to continue to develop its bespoke specialisms and skills.

Lowell Group CEO, James Cornell, said: “We have always respected the Interlaken Group as market-leaders in their field and are very excited about the opportunities to be gained from bringing the two businesses together.

“Our move into contingent collections in 2011 helped us realise the potential of today’s deal; the opportunity to deliver best-in-class service to our clients whether it be through contingent collections or debt purchase.

“Through our partnership we will also be able to provide long-term value to our clients by delivering new, creative and innovative solutions beyond debt collection and debt purchase, and offer a ‘one-stop’ shop of services to drive operating profit and balance sheet objectives of our clients.”

Mr Cornell also stressed that this will not become an exclusive relationship and both parties will continue to work with existing partners across the debt recovery industry.

Deloitte and Osborne Clarke advised the vendors. Anurag Verma, FIG corporate finance partner, led the transaction for Deloitte.

Group managing director of Interlaken Group Simon Jones and group chairman, Roy Jones, founded Fredrickson International in 1992 and the Interlaken Group in 1996. Their decision to stand down from the Group preceded the deal. Simon will remain with the business in the short-term to ensure a smooth transition.

Simon Jones said: “This is the end of an era. Roy and I are exceptionally proud of the company we have built together. Since we established the Interlaken Group 17 years ago we have gone from employing just a handful of people to over 300 people today with annual collections now exceeding £100m.

“We are delighted to pass the reins across to the Lowell Group. We hand them a company with a strong leadership team, talented and dedicated staff, an enviable client base, the highest standards of compliance and ethics and an exceptionally strong performance. We could not think of a better company to take our business forward and take it to the next level.”

Interlaken Group’s group commercial director, Frank Hanafin, will remain with the Interlaken Group.

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