Gateley bolsters non-legal offering with £6m deal

Ward: Strong and diversified group

Listed law firm Gateley has made its sixth acquisition of a non-legal business after adding a property and construction consultancy to its portfolio at a cost of up to £6.75m.

The Vinden Partnership – which provides multi-disciplinary services, including corporate advisory, dispute resolution, surveying and quantity surveying – will trade as Gateley Vinden

In the year to 31 August 2019, Vinden’s revenue was £4.7m, generating profit before tax of £800,000. It operates from Bolton – the head office where most of its 40 staff are based – Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and London.

Gateley told investors that the acquisition would be “immediately earnings enhancing”.

The firm is paying £6.15m up front, split almost equally between cash and shares, with a further £600,000 deferred based on Gateley Vinden’s financial performance in the year to 31 August 2020.

In recent years Gateley has also snapped up surveyors Hamer Associates, tax advisory business Capitus, HR businesses Kiddy & Partners and T-three Group, and land referencing consultancy Persona Associates, as well as three law firms.

Announcing its annual results last July, chief executive Michael Ward said the aim was for non-legal revenues to make up 20% of Gateley’s turnover – it was 12.4%, or £12.8m, at that time.

In its stock market announcement, Gateley said: “The acquisition of Vinden adds to and expands the range of dispute management and resolution services offered by the group’s construction team.

“It also adds real estate and construction funding services which complement the work undertaken by the group’s banking and real estate teams.

“The acquisition is consistent with Gateley’s growth strategy to acquire legal and professional services businesses which offer complementary specialist services, across Gateley’s five business groups.”

Mr Ward said: “This is a team we know and trust. Their results-driven, client-centric and inclusive culture is fully aligned with Gateley’s and we are confident that the integration process will be smooth and rapid…

“This is our ninth acquisition since we joined the AIM market in 2015. We continue to deliver on our strategy, building a strong and diversified group for the benefit of all our stakeholders – our people, our clients and our investors.”

Peter Vinden, chief executive of The Vinden Partnership, added: “Our two companies have worked together successfully for a number of years and have a shared ethos and approach. By combining our multi-talented teams, we have an enhanced offering for clients which will bring numerous benefits for all.”

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