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Fairpoint gains SRA approval for Simpson Millar buyout

New £20m banking facility to help facilitate its consolidation strategy 

18 June 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Fairpoint Group has received approval from the Solicitors' Regulation Authority to acquire UK law firm Simpson Millar.

Under the deal, which takes place through an alternative business structure, Simpson Millar continues to be run by the same management team, using its existing trading brands and operating as a business unit within Fairpoint Group.

The AIM-quoted financial services business recently announced that it had agreed a new £20m banking facility with AIB to help facilitate its consolidation strategy.

"This is a fantastic stage of development for both Fairpoint and Simpson Millar," commented Chris Moat, CEO of Fairpoint Group.

"The new banking facility supports this transaction and provides long-term financing to underpin the group's strategy of diversification of its income streams, by both organic growth and acquisition in both our core markets."

Under the Fairpoint Group umbrella, Simpson Millar is expected to have enhanced capability to execute its strategy of consolidation, targeting appropriate legal services businesses around the UK.

Said Peter Watson, managing director of the 13-office legal practice: "The additional resource and expertise which Fairpoint brings to the table will enable us to accelerate that activity and deliver substantial growth for the legal services part of the group."

The intended acquisition was announced in April 2014. Chris Moat, CEO at Fairpoint Group, said that it had "spent a considerable amount of time finding the right partner" after alternative business structures become possible.

The Simpson Millar transaction is Fairpoint's third acquisition this year, the other two being in the debt solutions market.

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