Fairpoint buys Colemans-ctts


Chris Moat

Moat: “class-leading expertise” in volume services

Fairpoint Group has bought volume personal injury and conveyancing firm Colemans-ctts for £9m, plus a further £7m, linked to performance.

The AIM-listed business, which last year bought national firm Simpson Millar and family practice Foster & Partners, said the acquisition would mean that 62% of group revenues came from consumer legal services.

Chief executive Chris Moat described the deal as an “important step” in the development of Fairpoint’s “fast-growing legal services platform”.

He went on: “It brings particular class-leading expertise in the areas of volume personal injury, conveyancing and travel services and gives strong impetus to our agenda of reshaping the group towards a broader professional services organisation.”

Colemans has three offices in Kingston-upon-Thames, Acton in West London and Manchester, with over 200 staff and around 67 fee-earners.

Janet Tilley, managing partner of Colemans, said the acquisition “presented the opportunity for Colemans to become part of a larger and dynamic group, leading the transformation of this industry segment”.

Fairpoint said that Colemans generated unaudited revenues of £19m and pre-tax profits of £2.3m. The firm’s unaudited gross assets were £18.4m.

Initial consideration would be made up of £8m in cash and a further £1m in shares. The group said further consideration of up to £7m “may be payable” subject to the achievement of “certain performance criteria”, including the financial performance of Colemans and “integration targets”.

The acquisition is expected to involve £1.5m of “legal, professional and integration costs” in the second half of this year. Formal completion is scheduled for 14 August, following a consultation with Colemans staff.

Fairpoint said it had extended its five-year debt facility with from £20m to £25m, and, immediately following the acquisition, the group’s debt would total £13.2m.

Mr Moat said in March this year that financial success in 2014 had laid the foundations for future acquisitions.

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