Debt buyer Encore Capital Group announced Tuesday it has closed the $177 million acquisition of Janus Holdings Luxembourg S.a.r.l., the indirect holding company of United Kingdom and Ireland-based Cabot Credit Management.

The deal included a 50.1% interest in the firm and Encore, based in San Diego, has the option to buy the rest of Janus from private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC within four to six years. The expected purchase price, announced in May, was reduced as a result of an agreement allowing Encore to redeem certain bridge preferred equity certificates by J.C. Flowers, thus cutting the amount of capital needed to fund the deal.

Encore purchases delinquent accounts from banks, credit unions and utilities and has long sought ways to take advantage of growth opportunities in the U.K., the largest debt purchase market in the world after the U.S.

Encore has been growing by buying loan portfolios from competitors, with two large transactions last year. In March Encore announced it was buying a competitor, Asset Acceptance, for an estimated $200 million.
Cabot had revenue of approximately $260 million last year. It has purchased 3.5 million consumer accounts.

"The combination of Encore and Cabot Credit Management creates a global leader in the consumer debt purchase and recoveries industry," said Encore President Ken Vecchione. "Encore has been looking for a strong partner in the U.K. for several years – one that is a leader, has a strong management team and has the ability to leverage our analytic capabilities and efficient operating platform. We've found all of this in Cabot Credit Management."

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