Lawyer bosses at one listed legal business invest heavily in another

Sellers: Third-largest shareholder in Ince

Two lawyers who run one listed legal services business have between them become the largest shareholder in another, the Ince Group, following the share placement it ran last week.

Barrister Alan Sellers and solicitor Samantha Moss – the married couple behind fellow-AIM listed Anexo Group – now have 8.4% and 5.5% of Ince shares respectively.

It makes them the third and fifth largest shareholders in the company respectively, or the biggest when taken together. Mr Sellers already had a significant holding but increased it by 41%, while Ms Moss is a new shareholder.

The Ince Group last week sought to raise £4.25m to invest in the group’s core legal services business but ended up hitting £4.7m.

The placement was at 6p a share, meaning Ms Moss paid £1.2m for her 20m shares and Mr Sellers £536,000 for his extra 8.9m shares.

Anexo Group, which listed in December 2018, is a credit hire and legal services group focused on providing replacement vehicles and associated legal services to impecunious customers who have been involved in a non-fault accident.

However, it has recently been expanding into other legal work, such as housing disrepair and car emissions litigation.

In its results for the first half of 2022, Anexo reported revenue of £69m and profit of £14m, both big increases, but that it would not pay an interim dividend so as to invest in attracting more emissions cases.

Moss: Fifth-largest shareholder in Ince

Mr Sellers is executive chairman, while Ms Moss runs Bond Turner, the law firm Anexo owns, which was responsible for £21m of the turnover and £2.5m of the profit.

In 2021, they made £46m by selling some of their shares but retain substantial holdings of around 17% each, which are worth £43.5m at the current share price of 107p.

This is near the all-time low share price of 103.5p seen in the days after the first lockdown having reached a high of 191.5p in October 2019.

The pair also made £3.2m from share sales in 2020.

Ince’s largest shareholder is Beckington Ltd (9.9%), followed by Crux Asset Management (8.6%). Donald Brown, who recently took over as Ince’s group chief executive, has 5.6% of the shares while the other two significant shareholders, Spreadex and Edale Capital, both reduced their stakes last week to 4.8% and 3.8% respectively.

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