TransUnion buys Leeds-cased Callcredit for £1bn

Callcredit Information Group HQ in Leeds

Chicago-based credit reporting agency TransUnion said on Friday it will buy Leeds-based consumer data firm Callcredit Information Group for £1 billion in cash from private equity firm GTCR.

TransUnion said Callcredit is the second largest and fastest growing consumer credit bureau in the UK.

Callcredit was founded in 2000 and employs 1,200 at locations in the UK, Lithuania and around the world.

In 2014, Reuters reported that GTCR acquired Callcredit along with the group’s management from Vitruvian Partners for about £480 million.

Callcredit was originally carved out of Skipton Building Society — with Vitruvian buying the business in 2009 for a reported £120 million.

Callcredit CEO Mike Gordon said: “Investment by a global company with an established track record, shared values and leadership who recognized our market potential is absolutely the right fit for us and the market.

“We are excited about the future and unique opportunity to elevate our competitive advantage with TransUnion through our combined innovation and expertise.”

TransUnion CEO Jim Peck said: “TransUnion and Callcredit have strong synergies across our business models and solutions, and we share a commitment to using information to benefit consumers and global economies alike.

“Callcredit is an outstanding acquisition for TransUnion, and together, we’ll be a powerful force to deliver value to shareholders, customers and consumers across all the markets we serve.”

David Neenan, president of TransUnion’s international business, said: “We continue to drive growth by identifying and investing in attractive international markets.

“As a leader in the world’s second largest credit market, Callcredit certainly fits the model.

“And, with the growing trend of multi-bureau usage in the U.K., we believe this is the right time to introduce TransUnion into the market.”

GTCR said Callcredit has more than 3,000 customers “including the UK’s largest financial institutions and organizations in the alternative lending, insurance, telecom, utilities and public sectors, among others.”

“Since GTCR’s acquisition of Callcredit in 2014, the company has experienced a significant transformation driven by GTCR’s partnership with a management team led by CEO Mike Gordon, who was recruited by GTCR and joined in 2014,” said GTCR.

“Over the past several years, Callcredit has established itself as a market leader through product innovation, expansion of fraud protection and identity verification capabilities, and material investments in technology and systems to enhance security and resilience.

“During the same period, Callcredit completed three acquisitions to support its organic expansion efforts.”

Jefferies International Limited and Credit Suisse served as Callcredit’s financial advisors. Evercore also acted as a joint financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel.