Warsaw, July 1, 2014 - Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced firms dedicated solely to private equity, and Janusz Tchórzewski, ULTIMO’s founder and minority shareholder, today announced the signing of an agreement to sell ULTIMO, a leading company in the debt management market, to B2Holding, a Norwegian specialty finance company with a strong presence in the Nordic and Baltic markets. Following the transaction, the company will become an integral part of an international platform reaching from the Nordic region to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). B2Holding will provide ULTIMO with access to capital, know-how and strategic partnerships allowing it to compete across the wider CEE market. Terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.
In October 2006, Advent invested in ULTIMO as it recognised the company’s growth potential, deep understanding of the Polish debt purchase and collection market and high quality operational platform. Advent has since helped the business to achieve a leading market position in Poland, supporting it in a number of key areas. To date the company has contacted over two million debtors, offering them tailor-made repayment solutions and recovered over PLN 1.5 billion of debt. Today ULTIMO is a strong, independent and well-financed company, positioned for further expansion and has become a leading player in the Polish market, with a strong ethical approach towards debtors. Last year, the business closed the largest nonperforming consumer loans transaction in the Polish market, which reinforced its leading position in the country.
Monika Morali-Efinowicz, Managing Director of Advent International in Poland, said:
"We believe this to be an excellent transaction for all parties concerned and are pleased with the results that ULTIMO has achieved. During Advent’s ownership the debt under management has increased by five and a half times to more than PLN 10.5 bn. Today it is a leading company in the Polish debt management industry, with a strong management team in place and great potential for further growth. As with many of our portfolio companies, it is also now well positioned to expand into international markets.”
Christian Senye, Director at Advent International in Poland added:
“We were looking for a partner for ULTIMO which would ensure the company's potential is fully realised going forward. We have hugely enjoyed and valued the excellent partnership we have had with the founder and the management team and wish them and all of ULTIMO’s employees continued success.”
Anna Gawęska, the CEO of ULTIMO, said:
"The support provided by Advent has helped us to become one of the leading players in the Polish debt purchase and collection market. Advent provided significant support to the company’s efforts to arrange bank funding for the acquisition of debt portfolios, helping us to increase the value of the company. Through their network, they also gave us access to deep international business knowledge and best practices. We are looking forward to the new pan-European stage of our growth.”
Jon H. Nordbrekken, Chairman of B2Holding, said:
"B2Holding’s strategy is to be the pre-eminent debt purchase and loan servicing platform in the Nordics and CEE, playing an active part in resolving the European debt crisis. We estimate that there are over €1.5 trillion of non-performing loans on European banks’ balance sheets. B2Holding offers these banks and lenders credit management solutions based on access to substantial capital, extensive operational expertise and the use of sophisticated data analytics. We are looking to grow our operations in CEE and the acquisition of Ultimo, with its strong financial position, efficient operational platform and experienced management, will enable us to significantly enhance our presence in the region.”
2014 marks Advent’s 20th year investing in Poland, which remains an important market for the firm. Advent continues to actively seek new investment opportunities in Poland and the broader CEE region across its core sectors.
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global investors dedicated solely to private equity. Since inception, the firm has invested in more than 290 buyout transactions in 39 countries and today has EUR 23.0 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 170 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on growth and traditional buyout and strategic repositioning transactions across five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecoms. After 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for portfolio companies.
For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com