King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin advises Duke Street on sale of Marlin Financial Group for £295m

12 Feb, 2014

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has advised Duke Street on the sale of its controlling stake in leading UK debt purchaser, Marlin Financial Group (Marlin), to Cabot Credit Management (CCM) in a deal which values the company at £295 million.

Founded in 1988, Duke Street is a leading mid-market private equity group that specialises in leveraged buyout and growth capital investments in sectors including consumer, business services, healthcare and financial services. Marlin is a purchaser of non-performing unsecured consumer credit, which includes credit cards, unsecured personal loans, overdrafts and auto finance receivables from banks and other financial institutions.

The company has accumulated a loan portfolio exceeding £2 billion, whilst managing over £7 million of collections each month. Duke Street acquired a 58% holding in Marlin in April 2010 and continued to finance the company’s growth through a series of capital increases.

The sale enabled £166 million to be returned to shareholders, generating a return of three times capital invested for Duke Street. Tim Wright, (pictured) Corporate partner at King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, said: “the financial services sector, both in the UK and internationally, is a priority area of investment for Duke Street. Accelerated growth in the market in recent months has created vast potential and a chance for them to further their expertise in transforming businesses.”

Marlin is the third exit for Duke Street in the last 12 months where King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has acted and follows the recent acquisition of the APD’s Homecare Oxygen supply systems.The King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin team was led by Corporate partner Tim Wright, alongside Corporate associates Keegan Toft, Michaela Moore and Adam Runcorn.

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