PRA Group, a Norfolk, Va.-based debt buyer, was named a Global M&A Deal of the Year recipient in the M&A Atlas Awards for last year's $1.3 billion acquisition of Norway-based Aktiv Kapital AS.

The M&A Atlas Awards for Global Major Markets honors companies for corporate development strategies and operations, management team and competitive brand leadership position. Companies worldwide are reviewed for executing transformational mergers and acquisitions. PRA was chosen as the winner in the $1 billion to $5 billion category.
Kent McCammon, PRA's executive vice president of strategy and business development, accepted the award at the M&A Atlas Awards presentation held last week in New York City.William Blair & Company acted as the financial advisor to Aktiv Kapital in connection with its sale, which was first announced in February 2014.PRA assumed approximately $435 million of Aktiv Kapital's corporate debt in the deal. The two companies combined to become one of the world's largest acquirers of non-performing consumer debt from banks and other creditors, with more than $4.6 billion in estimated remaining collections from customers.

Aktiv Kapital specialized in buying and servicing non-performing loans in Europe and Canada. PRA had operated in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Acquiring Aktiv Kapital gave PRA immediate access to sellers of consumer debt in new markets and a platform for growing investment in and servicing of consumer debt across Europe, PRA officials said.

"In Aktiv Kapital, PRA has found a true partner, an international acquirer of consumer debt with a conservative balance sheet, a deep and diverse data set and remarkable analytical and operating capabilities. With Aktiv Kapital further diversifying our portfolio, PRA expects to meet or exceed our twin goals of 20% ROE and 15% EPS growth, delivering long-term shareholder value through the years ahead," said Steve Fredrickson, PRA's chairman, president and CEO, at the time of the deal.

In 2013 and 2012, PRA was ranked among Fortune's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies and Forbes' Top 25 Best Small Companies in America.

 

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