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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Monday, May 15, 2006


(“Compass Finance” or “the Group”)

Proposed Acquisition of The Debt Advisor

Placing of 11,250,000 new Ordinary Shares at 40 pence per share

Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting

Advised by Zeus Capital Limited

*       Acquisition of The Debt Advisor and The Business Debt Advisor for £2 million

*       Placing to raise £4.15 million net of expenses, including £3.15 million for business growth and working capital

*       Acquisition completes the strategic model of a total in-house product offering:

Gren Folwell, the Chairman of Compass Finance, commented:
“The acquisition of The Debt Advisor provides a strong strategic fit with our goal to provide all of our customers with a full range of appropriate financial solutions to meet each of their needs. The addition of The Debt Advisor completes our strategic business model.

“With personal debt in the UK running at £1,182 billion, we are presented with a huge market opportunity.  We believe that we are one of the few companies in the sector which will be able to offer its customers ‘True Best Advice’ backed by an in-house set of products that provides a complete range of solutions to fulfil their needs. We believe this innovative model differentiates the Company and provides a competitive edge in the sector.

“On average, we are receiving around 2,000 leads a month which are suitable for a possible debt advisory solution.  Following the completion of the acquisition these leads will flow straight into the Debt Advisory Division and I am confident that this division will grow rapidly.”

Press contacts:

Budsworth & Co
Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall  
Bell Pottinger North                                   
01625 506444                                   

Compass Finance Group plc
Brian Coleman-Smith
Cubitt Consulting
020 7367 5102

Notes to editors
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website - www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk <http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk/> - there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.

Bev Budsworth is an insolvency practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with debt issues. 

A regular media commentator, Bev has spoken on a wide-range of issues including divorce, self-certificated mortgages, DIY, mature debt and online gambling. She has been regularly quoted in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Daily and Sunday Express as well as women’s magazines including Woman and Red. In the last 12 months she has offered advice on regional television news programmes and BBC local radio phone-ins.

In June 2000 she established The Debt Advisor, one of the first firms to offer comprehensive advice on all debt issues.  She had previously spent 17 years with an international firm of chartered accountants where she specialised in personal and business insolvency.

Her experience of dealing with personal debt issues led in 2005 to her being asked to join a government-led working party to look at ways of simplifying the formal procedures of helping people out of debt.

Since then she has led the way in calling for a professional personal debt/insolvency study course to be set up for all people involved in debt advice to individuals. 

She works together with a psychologist and they have developed strategies to help motivate clients to change their lifestyle.  As a busy married mother of three teenage children she understands the pressures that families face.  She believes that with a positive outlook there is always a sensible way to deal with financial difficulties and turn lives around.

Bev recently launched a campaign to bring about a greater understanding of debt and its links to depression giving debtors in the UK access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt.  She is the first in the UK to offer debt advice and personal counselling under one roof.  The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.


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