National Accident Helpline (NAH) has announced its third and largest acquisition since becoming a listed company, after agreeing to buy Bush & Company Rehabilitation Ltd for £28m.
Bush is a leading provider of expert witness, immediate needs assessment and case management services in serious injury cases, which NAH told the stock exchange has “a strong track record of profitable growth, good margins and attractive cash flow”.
It continued: “The acquisition is in line with stated strategy, will be earnings enhancing from 2016 and broadens NAHL’s offering to the personal injury legal services market and moves the group into higher-value critical injury claims.”
NAH also announced a placing of new shares to raise £14.2m, which will part fund the cash consideration for the deal, with a further £11m funded through existing cash resources and debt facilities.
In the year to 31 March 2015, Bush recorded revenue of £8.9m (up from £7.6m a year before), and operating profit of £3m (£2.5m in 2014). Its net assets amounted to £7m, including an estimated £3.3m of “free cash payable to the vendors as part of total consideration”.
The stock exchange statement said the deal “creates good opportunities for NAHL by providing access to a new market within consumer legal services as well as services to law firms that broadens NAHL’s portfolio”.
NAH’s other two acquisitions have been conveyancing leads businesses Fitzalan and Best Value Conveyancing, and in its recent annual results outlined its intention to do more deals in both the personal injury and conveyancing markets.
Chief executive Russell Atkinson said: “As we highlighted at the time of our IPO, strategic acquisitions are a key part of our growth strategy and we are delighted with the acquisition of Bush & Company.
“The acquisition offers NAHL the opportunity to extend its reach into the expert witness, immediate needs assessment and case management services market and utilise its experience and skill set from the PI market to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities already identified.”