Non-bank lender Pepper has finalised its acquisition of the Spanish consumer loan business Celeris, after purchasing the company in early February.
As part of the deal, Pepper acquired a portfolio of approximately 164,000 performing consumer loans and a small non-performing loan book representing, in aggregate, approximately $370 million in receivables.
All of Celeris’ 121 employees have also transferred to Pepper, where they will continue to service existing customers from Celeris’s office in Madrid.
Pepper has also, under a separate agreement, taken over the servicing of Celeris’ $384 million portfolio of residential mortgages.
Pepper has established a new business in Spain, Pepper Asset Services S.L, and will commence trading under its Pepper brand name following the completion of the deal.
Mike Culhane, Chairman of Pepper Group, said the completion of the acquisition marks the establishment of Pepper’s first operation in mainland Europe, which is a significant milestone in the company’s strategy to establish a best-in-class loan servicing and real estate asset management operation on the continent.
“The Celeris business provides us with an excellent platform, and local expertise, to establish and grow a leading asset management and third-party servicing operation in Spain, where we have already identified very significant opportunities,” Mr Culhane said. “Our future clients are likely to include financial institutions who require specialist expertise, support and services in managing their residential, commercial, auto and consumer loan portfolios. This will include an extensive range of loan management, administration, and collection services to third parties. In addition to this we will provide detailed due diligence and portfolio pricing services to financial investors, hoping to invest in the Spanish market.”
Chief executive of Pepper Patrick Tuttle said the non-bank would also consider acquiring additional loan books in Spain, which it could now service through the Celeris platform.
“We believe Spain holds significant opportunities as financial institutions in the country, and throughout Europe, look to deleverage. In tandem with growing and operating the asset management and loan servicing business we will be actively pursuing new acquisition opportunities in the Spanish market to further expand the business,” he said.