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Cabot to add 800 staff with latest acquisition

Debt purchaser Cabot Credit Management has announced its latest acquisition of a debt collection agency – for £90m in cash.



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This morning (August 24) Cabot announced it has agreed to acquire Wescot, the DCA and BPO provider with 800 staff and strong relationships with Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Barclays and RBS.

The business, run by chief executive Paul Jenkins, will be acquired from private equity firm Alchemy Partners which had previously bought the company in 2005.

Jenkins said: “Now is a good time for us to be joining forces with Cabot. This deal will allow us to strengthen and deepen relationships with financial services clients, offering them best in class products across their needs.”

 

Ashish Masih, president and chief executive of Encore Capital, the group that owns Cabot, said: “Cabot’s acquisition of Wescot demonstrates the expansion of its product mix to reach a broader client base in the U.K. market and creates synergies that will continue to foster growth.”

Headquartered in Hull, Wescot is one of the largest debt services providers for the UK retail banking sector and along with panel relationships with the big four banks, serves corporate clients in utility, telecoms and retail finance.

 

It’s understood that Wescot’s management team will remain and the DCA will continue to operate as a standalone business.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in three months, marks Cabot’s second strategic acquisition this year in the UK, following the investment in Orbit Services (Orbit), a specialist in the public utilities debt servicing market.


In total Cabot has invested more than £100m in the acquisitions and both businesses have added more than £200m a year in contingency collections plus significant BPO collections to the group.

Ken Stannard, chief executive of Cabot Credit Management, said: “We are delighted to partner with Wescot who shares our ethical values and commitment to high customer service standards.

“This acquisition will allow us to further diversify our product range, reach a wider client base and better meet our clients’ evolving needs. It will create an enlarged group with an improved quality of earnings as we look to take the business to the next level.”

 

To refinance existing debt and fund the Wescot acquisition, Cabot’s subsidiary, Cabot Securitisation UK, has signed a £260m asset-backed senior facility.

The facility has a five-year legal maturity and an advance rate of 57 percent of 84-month estimated remaining collections, and a margin of one-month Libor plus 285 basis points.

Half-year trading
Cabot also posted today a results update for the six months to June 2017.

The financials show its adjusted EBITDA for the first half of 2017 has risen 18 percent on the same period in 2016 - to £139m from £117.9m.

The company’s 120-month estimated remaining collections figure stood at £2.2bn at the half-year point, a six percent rise on June 2016.

 

More to follow.

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