United Kingdom-based collection agency 1st Credit Ltd. could be sold by private equity firm Bridgepoint, according to a recent report.

Bridgepoint, which is working with corporate finance firm Quayle Munro, has held preliminary talks with buyout firms about a possible sale of the company. The report, published by Bloomberg News, cited two sources who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

An exit would end London-based Bridgepoint's long relationship with 1st Credit. The private equity firm originally invested in the collection agency in 2004 in a deal valued at $109 million. Private-equity firms commonly sell companies after three to five years of ownership.

1st Credit buys distressed debt from banks, credit card companies and utility companies. A sale price could reach up to $220 million, according to the sources. Talks are early stage and no formal process has begun, they said.

A Bridgepoint spokesman declined to comment. Officials with 1st Credit and Quayle Munro did not respond to requests seeking comment.

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