Begbies Traynor Group plc (the "Group"), the UK's leading independent business recoverypractice, is pleased to announce completion of the acquisition of the trade and assets of Cooper Williamson Ltd ("completion"), the Manchester-based corporate insolvency specialist.
Cooper Williamson ("the firm") has successfully developed its own business rescue website (www.realbusinessrescue.co.uk), which has been a significant driver of new cases. To date, the firm has largely only been able to fulfil cases in its local region but, as part of the Group, the combined business should benefit from the national opportunities it generates. In the year to 31 May 2013, the firm reported revenue of £1.7 million and a pre-tax profit of £0.4 million. Following completion, Cooper Williamson's client case load and management will join our existing Manchester office.
Principal terms of the acquisition
The acquisition is for an initial consideration of £0.9 million, to be satisfied in cash of £0.45 million and through the issue of 1,141,842 new ordinary shares of 5 pence each in Begbies Traynor Group plc ("Ordinary Shares"). Under the terms of the acquisition, there is a deferred consideration of up to £1.1 million dependent on financial performance over the three years from completion, which may be satisfied in cash or by issuing new shares at the Group's discretion. The Group has also agreed to further discretionary consideration of up to £0.5 million, subject to the firm meeting robust turnover targets in the following two years. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing, both initially and after any additional consideration is paid.
Application has been made for the 1,141,842 Ordinary Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM ("Admission"). The new Ordinary Shares will rank pari passu with the existing Ordinary Shares in the Group and it is expected that dealings in these new Ordinary Shares will commence on 7 October 2013.
Following Admission, the Group will have 91,342,137 Ordinary Shares in issue. The Group does not hold any shares in treasury and, therefore, this figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculation by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Group.
Ric Traynor, Executive Chairman of Begbies Traynor Group plc, commented:
"The acquisition of Cooper Williamson is an exciting development for us, and is in line with our strategy to enhance our position as the UK's leading independent insolvency practice. It will reinforce our presence in the North West and give us the opportunity to expand Cooper Williamson's already successful model and business rescue internet portal on a national scale."
Ric qualified with Arthur Andersen in 1984 and founded Begbies Traynor in 1989. Ric specialises in practice management and has considerable experience in financial turnaround and dispute resolution within professional practices.