Exponent buys specialist debt company

Exponent Private Equity has invested in the consumer debt recovery sector, backing existing management to acquire Lowell Holdings Ltd, from a fund managed by Cabot Square Capital. The value of the buyout deal was not disclosed but is thought to be in the region of £150m to £200m (US$297m to US$397m).

A senior debt facility of £100m on a three year term has been provided by a syndicate led by Europe Arab Bank with Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets and nabCapital (a division of National Australia Bank). A further £30m of mezzanine financing has been provided by GSC Group and DE Shaw & Co.

Adrian Hill, formerly chief executive of HFC Bank and General Manager Direct Businesses at HSBC has been appointed as non-executive chairman of Lowell following the deal.

Leeds-based Lowell buys consumer debts from a range of blue-chip organisations and then manages the recovery of those debts, working closely with debtors to help them resolve their financial difficulties and pay off what they owe.