Magazine article American Banker

$117M U.K. Deal for Capital One

Magazine article American Banker

$117M U.K. Deal for Capital One

Article excerpt

Capital One Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it is buying HFS Group, a British home equity loan broker, for $117 million in cash.

The McLean, Va., company already operates in the U.K. market for second and third mortgages, according to spokeswoman Tatiana Stead. "We function in the U.K. as an introducer of leads, which are then sent to our partners, who provide the customer contact and relationship with lenders," Ms. Stead said. "We provide the direct marketing."

Capital One said it expects the deal to close early next quarter. HFS would operate independently and keep its top management. The firm originated about 15,000 loans, worth about $630 million, in the 12 months through March.

"This is the right step for everyone with a stake in HFS Group," said Paul Naden, the managing director of its senior management team, in a press release Wednesday. The deal "allows us to realize a myriad of benefits, such as Capital One's direct marketing expertise."

Capital One has about 4 million U.K. customers and is one of the largest credit card issuers there.

Richard Fairbank, its chairman and chief executive, said in the press release that the deal is consistent with its strategy of "carefully targeted acquisitions that provide new product lines, build on our successful consumer-lending platforms, and create value for our shareholders."

Capital One recently withdrew from a couple of international ventures. In September it sold its interest in Nedcor Ltd., a South African banking company, generating a $31. …

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