• Link Group to acquire Pepper Group’s European loan servicing, asset management and advisory business for an upfront cash payment of €165 million
  • Transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2020
  • Will create leading pan-European asset servicer with significant potential for growth

31 January 2020 - Link Group today signed an agreement to acquire Pepper European Servicing (PES) from Pepper Group for an upfront consideration of €165 million (A$266 million). Further, the meeting of Assets Under Management (AUM) thresholds and growth milestones could trigger additional consideration of €35 million (A$56 million).

PES provides end-to-end loan servicing and asset management across residential and commercial segments, with strong market positions and longstanding customer relationships in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and Cyprus. The acquisition will deliver immediate scale for Link Group’s Banking and Credit Management (BCM) division in existing and new jurisdictions.

Headquartered in London, PES has circa €40 billion of Assets Under Management and an established team of approximately 880 delivering an end-to-end debt servicing platform with core business characteristics that are strongly aligned with BCM’s focus on new lending services and bank outsourcing, as well as performing and non-performing loan management. The transaction does not impact on the services provided to residential or commercial customers serviced by PES whose terms, conditions and contact points all remain the same.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020. Once completed, PES will integrate with Link Group’s BCM business. Combined, the businesses will have approximately €130 billion of Assets Under Management and employ over 1,800 people.

Robbie Hughes, CEO, Banking & Credit Management, Link Group commented:

'In 2019, we set our strategic vision to become the leading independent servicer in Europe with an expanding global footprint. This transaction accelerates that vision and will see two high-quality businesses integrated to create a leading pan-European asset servicer and manager, with significant potential for growth in existing and new markets. This is a very exciting opportunity for BCM, PES, our collective teams and clients. Together with PES, we will provide a best-in-class proposition to clients from our deep talent pool, from our enhanced infrastructure and through a diversified client base.'

Fraser Gemmell, CEO of Pepper European Servicing said: 

'We’re delighted to have completed this deal, which reflects very positively on the quality of the PES business and our team. We believe it’s very good news for our clients and people as it will facilitate the ongoing growth of the business while also providing Link Group with the opportunity to accelerate its European growth plans through the creation of a leading pan-European multi-asset servicer, which will leverage the combined strengths, experience and capabilities of the Pepper and Link Group platforms to deliver market-leading services for investors and financial institutions from across the globe.'