Accident claims handler Helphire has announced the acquisition of Welsh firm NewLaw in a deal worth more than £43m.
The deal is expected to be sealed tomorrow following today’s announcement to the London Stock Exchange.
Helphire will pay an initial £24.5m in cash and issue shares valued up to £10.5m, subject to the firm meeting profit targets this year.
The Bath-based company will also acquire net external working capital debt and shareholder loans of around £8.2m.
New Helphire shares will be issued in stages over the next year, with the first tranche and a proportion of the second subject to a 12-month lock-in.
Cardiff-based NewLaw, a specialist in personal injury claims, has grown rapidly in its 10-year existence to boast a workforce of more than 400.
In 2012 the firm became the first Welsh practice to be authorised as an alternative business structure by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and last year it entered a joint venture with insurance broker Carole Nash.
Unaudited management accounts for the year ended 31 December 2013 show the New Law Group achieved a profit before tax of £7m on sales of £29.4m. On the same basis, the aggregated net assets of the group were approximately £14.7m on that date.
NewLaw and Helphire have worked together for five years in the processing of personal injury claims and the deal is expected to raise investment for expansion into new areas of the legal services market.
NewLaw chief executive Helen Molyneux (pictured) said: ‘The new group will create a unique legal services offering and will place us a number of steps ahead of our competition. As a business we have been very successful in our strategy to date – we have built a great business that has prospered through significant market changes.
‘This development accelerates our opportunity to develop our strategy even further with a strong capital base, potential funding for growth and within a group that has a similar business-minded culture that we know well.’
NewLaw will continue to operate from its headquarters in Cardiff and offices in Bristol, Basingstoke and Glasgow.