Debt buyer Encore Capital Group Inc. announced Thursday the acquisition of collection agency Atlantic Credit & Finance for approximately $70 million in cash. Encore also made additional payments totaling $126 million to retire some of ACF's debts and obligations.  

With the acquisition, Encore adds a portfolio with approximately $275 million in Estimated Remaining Collections (ERC) as well as a platform that specializes in acquiring and collecting on high balance, fresh consumer loans, considered to be ACF's speciality. ACF started in 1996.

"The acquisition of ACF provides Encore with a number of competitive advantages," said Kenneth A. Vecchione, CEO of Encore. "It allows us to expand our expertise and deploy additional capital into a new market segment of fresh, higher-balance accounts, which is an ideal complement to our existing capabilities. ACF's strength in early-stage liquidation, coupled with our strength in late-state liquidation, creates a sustainable, winning strategy for both organizations."

Encore Capital Group in February announced the acquisition of U.K.-based debt buyer Marlin Financial Services for approximately $481 million through Cabot Credit Management, a U.K. subsidiary that Encore acquired last year.

The acquisition of Marlin extended Encore's presence in the high-growth U.K and Irish markets, which together comprise the largest mature credit market in the world after the U.S. The two companies created the largest unsecured debt buyer in the U.K.

The newly announced ACF acquisition is "another clear signal that Encore will continue to drive consolidation and shape the future of our industry," said Vecchione. "Transactions like this one allow us to deliver on our commitment to earnings growth and help us expand our deep and talented team."

Richard Woolwine, CEO of ACF, added, "We're excited to be a part of the Encore family of companies. Encore's leadership position in the industry, combined with its reputation as a consumer-focused company, gives us great confidence that ACF will reach new levels of success."

 

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