Debt collector Robinson Way goes to Sweden in £30m deal

ROBINSON Way, the debt collection business formerly part of the collapsed Manchester lender London Scottish Bank, has been sold to Swedish group Hoist Kredit AB.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, TheBusinessDesk.com understands Hoist Kredit is paying just over £30m for the Salford Quays-based company.

Robinson Way, which made a profit of £2.5m on turnover of £19.6m in 2011, was never itself in administration. It was operated outside of the insolvency by administrators Ernst & Young, until it was bought by its management team in 2009.

Its new owner is headquartered in Stockholm and employs 400 people  in nine European countries: Sweden, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Austria as well as the UK.

Robinson Way’s managing director Graham Prosser has become chief executive, and David Biddulph, chief financial officer.

Mr Prosser said: “The acquisition by Hoist represents a significant new chapter in Robinson Way’s history. The company will remain focussed on servicing its debt purchase back book and growing its highly successful contingency client business.

“Hoist will of course be introducing new contingent collections business as a result of the portfolios it will acquire. But more than this, Hoist has committed to making a significant investment in our systems and processes to help expand the range of services we offer, and the speed and efficiency with which they can be delivered.

“These investments are strategic, rather than tactical, and designed to ensure that Robinson Way is even better placed to meet the future demands of its customers.”

Simon Allport, Ernst & Young’s North West senior partner and administrator of London Scottish Bank added: “Robinson Way has continued to perform strongly since an MBO in September 2009.  The sale to Hoist Kredit will allow the profitable business to continue its growth in the debt purchase and collections market.”  

Financial advisers to Robinson Way were Ernst & Young’s Financial Services M&A team, led by partner Ian Cosgrove. Addleshaw Goddard, led by partner Roger Hart, acted as legal advisers.

Mr Hart said: “Having worked with Robinson Way and Ernst & Young on its innovative MBO in 2009, we’re proud to have been part of its journey from the start – through recent business successes, to today’s latest evolution with the sale to Hoist Kredit”
 
He was assisted by Andy Green and Andrew Cotton.