Listed financial services business Fairpoint PLC has said it is ready to delve further into the legal services market with more acquisitions.
The company bought national firm Simpson Millar and in turn Bristol-based Fosters last year for its first forays into the legal sector.
Fairpoint said family and personal injury specialist Simpson Millar has contributed £11.9m to group revenues and £1.6m in profit before tax since the acquisition in June 2014.
In its financial results for calendar 2014, announced to the London Stock Exchange today, chairman David Harrel said there are ‘substantial opportunities’ for further growth in legal services.
Chief executive Chris Moat (pictured) added: ‘The legal services market is highly fragmented and has recently been subjected to significant regulatory change, which is intended to improve consumer choice and value. These changes are encouraging industry consolidation and present a unique opportunity to create more competitive consumer offerings.
‘The acquisition of Simpson Millar in June 2014 is intended to provide a platform from which the group can deploy its core skill of applying process to professional services.’
Moat confirmed that Simpson Millar was acquired for £6.1m in cash up-front and £2m in shares, with a further £6m payable based on the financial performance of the firm for the 12-month periods ending June 2015 and June 2016. Fosters was acquired for a deferred consideration of £400,000.
Simpson Millar, which has its headquarters in Leeds and 12 other offices across the country, now has around 250 employees.
Group revenue overall for the company, which also has insolvency, claims management and debt management divisions, increased by 35% in 2014 to £38.3m. Profit before tax was £9.3m, an increase year on year of 15%.