DWF raises Â£95m in stock exchange flotation
DWF became the first law firm to list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange this month. It listed shares at an initial offer price of 122 pence each on Thursday 14 March. The firm issued 61,475,410 new shares and 16,577,304 existing shares, equating to a total of £95.2m, representing 26% of the company. Approximately £19m of the money raised will be used to repay a portion of members’ capital contribution to DWF LLP, while £10m has been earmarked for investment in IT systems.
The remainder will be used to fund general corporate purposes, including working capital and any future potential acquisitions, according to today’s announcement. Most of the company’s existing equity will be subject to lock up arrangements until the announcement of financial results for the year ending 30 April 2024. However, partners will be able to sell up to 20% of their holding on the publication of results for the financial year 30 April 2020, following which 10% will be available for release each year for four years.
An additional 10% of an individual’s holding will also be available for release each year dependent on performance. Locked up equity will also be released in the event an individual becomes a “good leaver”, while it could be “clawed back” in the event an individual becomes a “bad leaver” during the lock up period.
The firm’s longstanding CEO Andrew Leaitherland (pictured) said: “DWF and its partner group see this as the start of the next phase of DWF’s evolution and we are very pleased by the support shown by our new investors. We see substantial, long-term opportunity, to build on our strong track record and further develop and grow our Complex, Managed and Connected Services capabilities, while attracting and retaining the best talent, investing in technology and carrying out targeted M&A.”