Arrow Global Said to Attract Interest From Buyout Firms

  • Firms including Apax said to have weighed potential takeover
  • British loan manager’s shares rise most since IPO in 2013

Arrow Global Group Plc, the British firm that buys and manages delinquent loans, has drawn interest from private equity companies including Apax Partners LLP, according to people familiar with the matter.

Buyout firms have been evaluating potential offers to see if it would be feasible to take the company private, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Deliberations are at an early stage and may not result in a transaction, the people said.

Arrow Global shares surged as much as 15 percent in London trading, the most since its initial public offering in October 2013. The stock was up 11 percent as of 8:40 a.m. local time, valuing the company at 532 million pounds ($691 million).

Buyout firms rarely take European companies private because of high stock prices and regulatory hurdles. Public-to-private transactions made up just 3 percent of private equity deals last year, according to data from Bain & Co.’s Global Private Equity Report. EQT Partners AB was an exception when it agreed to buy Swiss travel-services company Kuoni Reisen Holding AG earlier this year after competing with other buyout firms.

Representatives for Arrow Global and Apax declined to comment.

Manchester, England-based Arrow Global and CarVal Investors agreed to co-invest in a loan book with face value of about 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion), the company said in a statement Tuesday. Arrow Global also agreed to purchase InVesting BV, a consumer debt buyer and collections provider with operations in the Netherlands and Belgium, for 78.5 million pounds in April.

Arrow Global buys student loans and defaulted customer accounts from lenders including credit card companies, businesses and retail banks, according to its website. The company was established in 2005 as a European subsidiary of Arrow Financial Services and was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Special Opportunities Fund in 2009. Arrow Global held an initial public offering in London in 2013.

— With assistance by Kiel Porter

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