The two lawyers behind Anexo Group PLC – the listed business that owns leading personal injury law firm Bond Turner – will pocket at least £61m from selling their remaining stakes in the business if a proposed takeover goes through.
Barrister Alan Sellers, Anexo’s executive chairman, solicitor and Bond Turner managing director Samantha Moss made £46m after selling some of their shares to private equity investor DBAY advisors, in a deal announced last November but only completed in March after regulatory approvals.
That gave DBAY a stake of 29% and Anexo announced today that it has received an approach from DBAY over a possible cash offer for the rest of the issued and to-be-issued shares – only 36% of the company is currently in public hands.
“On the basis of the DBAY proposal, the board of Anexo has granted DBAY due diligence access, and DBAY has indicated an offer price of 150 pence per ordinary share in cash.
“While the structure of the possible offer is not yet confirmed, the status of Alan Sellers, executive chairman, and Samantha Moss, managing director, Bond Turner, as joint offerors to DBAY’s possible offer is under consideration.”
Between them, the pair have 35% of the issued stock and, at 150p, Mr Sellers will receive £30m and Ms Moss £31m. Anexo’s shares closed yesterday on 137p but jumped to 144p in early trading today.
DBAY has until 21 July to announce whether it is making an offer. “DBAY reserves the right to introduce other forms of consideration and/or vary the form and/or mix of the consideration of any offer, as well as the structure of such an offer,” the announcement added.
DBAY is an international asset management firm with offices in the Isle of Man and London. On its website, it says it invests in companies “overlooked or deeply misunderstood by the market and in many instances out of favour with investors, often taking a contrarian view. We are long-term investors in businesses”.
Anexo has grown somewhat away from the legal limelight despite being listed for almost exactly three years.
The origins of the group were Mr Sellers’ creation of a standalone credit hire business in 1996 which relied on a panel of law firms to recover costs from insurers.
In 2006, it incorporated Armstrongs Solicitors, since renamed Bond Turner, so the group could provide a complete litigated claims process. EDGE (trading as DAMS, McAMS and CAMS) operates the group’s credit hire business.
Anexo operates a ‘direct capture’ model that brings in legal cases through its dedicated credit hire sales team and network of over 1,100 active referrers – such as body shops and garages – around the UK.
Its 2020 results showed revenue increased 11% to £87m, with adjusted profit before tax falling 30% to £16m, which was “in line with market expectations”.
This reflected £6.5m on investment in staff and associated IT costs, and acquiring cases for the Volkswagen emissions litigation – it now has more than 14,000 cases on its books.
Legal revenues increased by 15% to £35m and Bond Turner now employs over 500 people.