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'Expect further transactions', Slater & Gordon says as it buys Simpson Millar

'The timing is now optimal to accelerate our growth plans'

8 May 2013

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Slater & Gordon has told investors to expect 'further transactions' over the next six to 12 months as it announced the purchase of national firm Simpson Millar and personal injury (PI) specialists Goodmans Law, together with the PI department of Taylor Vinters.

Slater & Gordon, which has been actively buying up small PI practices, said it expects to complete the latest purchases by December, subject to due diligence and binding agreements.

The firm told investors that the "opportunity pipeline is continuing to build" and it expected to "execute a number of further transactions".

Slater & Gordon estimated the cost of acquisitions at £23m, made up of £13m in 'upfront cash', £6m in deferred cash and £4m in shares.

The firm announced that it was raising a total of A$63.9m (£42m) to fund its UK expansion, following its purchase of Russell, Jones & Walker at the start of 2012.

Andrew Grech, managing director of Slater & Gordon, said the three potential acquisitions now identified would "deliver a number of strategic benefits, including an expanded geographic base and specialised practice areas".

He went on: "The capital raising provides us with the financial flexibility to pursue the broad spectrum of growth opportunities in the UK.

"Twelve months on from entering the UK, the timing is now optimal to accelerate our growth plans in line with our strategy to become a dominant law firm brand in consumer legal services in the UK."

Slater & Gordon told investors that changes in the UK legal environment were "driving consolidation of the consumer legal services market".

The firm noted in its presentation that no "dominant law firm brand" currently existed in the UK, which offered a "future growth platform" four to five times the size of the Australian market.

Earlier this year, Simpson Millar launched a new insurance product with DAS, Everyday Legal. The firm is based in Leeds and has ten other offices across the country. Goodmans Law is based in Liverpool.

 

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