European private equity firm Permira has agreed to buy German debt collection agency GFKL from Advent, the companies said Monday.

Permira officials declined to comment on the financial terms but Reuters reported that people familiar with the deal valued it at $684 million (600 million euros).

GFKL manages receivables worth $18.9 billion (16.6 billion euros) for clients from industries including banks, insurance companies, online retailers and telecommunications companies, Permira said in a statement.

Permira said small- and medium-sized businesses are increasingly outsourcing collections and the rise of e-commerce also is driving the industry's growth.

"The debt collection market in Germany is very fragmented which creates numerous consolidation opportunities,” according to the company’s statement.

Advent sought to exit GFKL in January and asked Goldman Sachs to explore options including a sale, according to media reports at the time.

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