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On January 3rd, 2023, KRUK entered into the agreement with CRIF Group entities on the sale of 100% of shares in ERIF BIG S.A. (“ERIF”) and 100% of shares in EBS Sp. z o.o. (“EBS”). The transfer of title will take place after fulfilling formal obligations, not later than in February 2023. The terms of the transaction remain undisclosed.

ERIF and EBS jointly constitute a leading player in the economic information bureau sector in Poland, providing essential business information supporting decision making, fraud detection, as well as debt collection processes. ERIF database comprises ca. 155m entries of financial liabilities on consumers and companies representing a total value of ca. PLN 63.4bn.

The credit reference business has been part of our Group since 2007, providing us with support in the debt recovery process. We intend to continue cooperation in this area, but from now on under separate ownership structures. ERIF today is an organisation with more than 40 staff that successfully provides credit reference services on the open market, cooperating with banks and telecommunications companies, among others. There are a total of 155 million entries in the ERIF database, and only in the first three quarters of 2022 ERIF generated 9.7 million reports for its clients. ERIF’s consolidated revenue for the period was PLN 6.8 million, with EBITDA at PLN 0.6 million.  At the same time, on a Group-wide basis, after the first three quarters of 2022 revenue generated by this business line accounted for less than 1% of KRUK’s total revenue. We have considered possible scenarios and believe that the new ownership structure can create more natural synergies for ERIF and provide more opportunities to leverage the company’s potential, especially since the CRIF Group specialises in credit reference services. After the transaction will be finalised, officially we will end our 15-year collaboration within the Group. I consider this time to be important for both KRUK and ERIF and would like say a big thank you to the ERIF team for our joint adventure, wishing them further successful growth,”  Piotr Krupa concluded.

CRIF Group is a global company specializing in credit and business information systems, analytics, outsourcing and processing services, as well as advanced digital solutions for business development and open banking. Established in 1988 in Bologna (Italy), CRIF has a global presence, operating over four continents (Europe, America, Africa and Asia).

Today, CRIF is the leader in Italy for retail credit management and lending support solutions and, thanks to the expertise acquired over more than 30 years of activity in highly competitive markets, it is the leading group in continental Europe in the banking information sector and one of the main operators on an international level for integrated business and commercial information and credit and marketing management services.

The future acquisition of ERIF and EBS will strengthen the position of CRIF in the local financial services market in Poland  in terms of developing a customer portfolio, building databases and developing human capital.

“The acquisition of ERIF and EBS is part of the growth strategy we’ve been implementing for several years now with acquisitions. It represents an important opportunity for CRIF to further consolidate its leadership in Poland. It will allow an expansion of the dataset at our disposal and the improvement and increase in the number of services and modern technological and financial solutions available to the local market,” commented Carlo Gherardi, Chairman and CEO of CRIF.

“The ERIF Credit Bureau has always been close to us due to the similar perception of challenges in the area of business information, strong organizational culture and highly skilled teams. As a result, this acquisition strengthens CRIF Group in Poland in three key areas: data, customers and team. Our task over the coming months will be to quickly integrate the product offering of CRIF, KBIG, ERIF, EBS and achieve synergies resulting from joint activities, so as to better address the needs of our customers in Poland,” said Piotr Badura, Country Manager of CRIF Poland.

VCP acted as sell-side M&A advisor to KRUK on the sale of 100% stake in ERIF and EBS.

Source: VCP, January 2023

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