DWF, Manchester law giant, buys €50m Spanish firm

Manchester-headquartered international law firm DWF said on Wednesday it will acquire Spanish law company Rousaud Costas Duran (RCD) for up to €50.5 million in shares and cash.

The news came as DWF reported half year results for the period ending October 31, 2019, showing a 10% increase in revenue to £146.8 million and a fall in reported profit before tax to £4.7 million from £5.3 million.

DWF shares rose about 1.5% to around 122p to give the firm a current stock market value of around £365 million.

DWF operates in about 30 locations around the world and has more than 3,200 staff.

DWF said the acquisition “will significantly expand DWF’s international capabilities via offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia and provide access to an extensive network of connections in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America.”

The initial consideration for the deal will consist of €7.4 million in cash and €27.6 million in newly issued DWF shares will be paid at completion.

An additional cash consideration of up to €15.5 million will be partly deferred and partly contingent on performance.

DWF CEO Andrew Leaitherland said: “The acquisition is consistent with DWF’s strategy of acquiring complementary businesses with high levels of recurring revenue and strong cash generation.  

“RCD will sit within the international division which remains one of the priority growth opportunities and therefore priority areas for the group’s capital allocation. 

“RCD has a range of potential synergies with DWF, with significant capabilities and sector overlap in our three global areas of insurance, financial services and real estate.

“As leading legal innovators, our businesses have a strong focus on doing things differently, and this is the next logical step towards providing Complex, Managed and Connected Services globally.

“The transaction also builds on our recent acquisition in Poland, displaying our international expansion ambitions and continued delivery on our IPO priorities.”

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