Nordic buys debt collector from Altor

Altor and Investor will sell the business for €2.3bn, which includes a €200m performance-based vendor note

Nordic Capital, a Scandinavian buyout firm, is buying a majority stake in Lindorff, an Oslo-based debt collecting company, from Altor Equity Partners and Investor.

Nordic will buy the stake for €2.3 billion including a €200 million performance based vendor note, with Investor and Altor retaining a minority stake, according to a statement.

Lindorff, which has approximately 2,750 employees and operates in 11 European countries, provides a range of services including customer selection, credit evaluation, invoicing, reminders, debt collection, portfolio management and customer services. The company had net revenues of €450 million in 2013.

Altor invested in Lindorff in 2004 using capital from its Altor 2003 Fund, the firm’s €650 million maiden vehicle, and Altor Fund II, a €1.15 billion 2006-vintage, a spokesperson said.

In 2008, Investor acquired a 58 percent stake in the business, leaving Altor with a 42 percent stake. Following the sale to Nordic, Altor and Investor will have a combined equity stake worth about €315 million, of which Altor will hold 42 percent, the firm said.

Altor declined to disclose its precise return, but a spokesperson said “it will be in line with the internal rate of return of 25 percent or above” that Altor targets.

During Altor’s 10-year ownership, Lindorff has expanded its geographic presence, both in the Nordics as well as in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. In this period, revenues grew approximately 2.5 times, Altor said.

The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities and is expected to complete during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Nordic will invest in the company using its Nordic Capital VIII, a vehicle that closed on its €3.5 billion revised hard-cap in December.

This is the fifth deal from this vehicle after Nordic bought Gina Tricot, a clothing business, and AniCura, a veterinary clinic operator, last month. In May, Nordic bought Euroline, a payment business that provides secure card solutions, while in April last year, it acquired Unifeeder, a Danish logistics company, from London-headquartered Montagu Private Equity for approximately €400 million.

For Altor, the divestment comes shortly after the firm closed its latest fund on its target and hard-cap of €2 billion. Approximately 90 percent of investors in the fund, which officially came to market this spring, were LPs in previous Altor funds.