Tokyo/Singapore, 8 January 2021 - Global loan servicer and lender, Pepper Group Pty Limited (“Pepper” or “the Company”) today announced the 100% acquisition of Millennium Holdings KK, the holding company of Millennium Corporation (Millennium). Through this acquisition, Pepper will enter the Japanese financial services market, signifying the importance of Japan as part of the Company’s broader strategic focus on Asia. In the future, Pepper intends to offer various financial products and services backed by its experience and expertise in the global market. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Millennium, established in 2000, is one of the most experienced loan servicing companies in Japan with a long and successful track record of providing high quality services to both domestic and international clients. Millennium holds a loan servicing license granted by the Minister of Justice of Japan.
Under Pepper’s ownership, Millennium will seek to expand its presence in the Japanese non-performing loan (NPL) market, leveraging Pepper’s expertise and experience gained over the last two decades in the Australian and various European and Asian loan servicing markets.
Pepper, originally established in Australia, is a global leader in Lending and Asset Servicing across the residential and commercial property sectors in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Asia and Australia. It also offers residential lending, consumer, auto and equipment finance. Pepper is majority owned by leading global investment firm KKR.
Across Europe, Pepper services approximately AUD63bn of performing and non-performing loans on behalf of financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, CarVal and PIMCO.
This acquisition complements the growth strategy Pepper has been pursuing across Asia in recent years, which has seen it successfully enter the China and Indian market for loan servicing, and meaningfully increase the scale of its South Korean lending operations.
Mike Culhane, Global CEO at Pepper, said, “We have been looking for opportunities to expand our successful asset servicing business model into Japan for some time and believe now is the right time to acquire a quality business like Millennium and enter the Japanese market. We will focus on making an impact on the Japanese asset servicing and mortgage financing market in Japan. We expect the Japanese NPL market to see increased and sustained activity levels in the coming years, due to several factors including regulatory focus, regional bank consolidation and the economic conditions as a result of COVID-19.
This acquisition allows us to combine our existing global expertise with a strong domestic platform to attract new business and build a strong portfolio servicing loans on behalf of others. We view this as an important first step into the Japanese financial services market.”
Commenting on the transaction, Hiroshi Kenmoto, President, Millennium, said, “Millennium is delighted to join with Pepper as we continue to expand our opportunities with domestic and international clients. We look forward to working together closely to unlock new areas of opportunity with Pepper’s support as well as to continue to provide high-quality services our existing clients already enjoy today.”
The existing management team at Millennium will remain under the new ownership as part of the acquisition and will be responsible for expanding its domestic and international client base beyond its current size.