DWF, Manchester law giant, agrees to £342m takeover

Manchester-headquartered international law firm DWF Group plc said it agreed to be acquired by Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP for £342 million or £1 per share, comprising cash of 97p and a special dividend of 3p.

The price represents a premium of 52.7% to DWF’s closing price on July 7.

Under the terms of the acquisition, a “partial securities alternative” will be available to DWF shareholders which will enable eligible DWF shareholders to elect to receive loan notes or preference shares in lieu of part of the transaction value.

DWF chairman Jonathan Bloomer, Chairman of DWF, said: “The DWF board of directors is pleased to announce its unanimous recommendation of this acquisition, which is highly attractive not only for our internal and external shareholders, but also for our clients, employees and other stakeholders.

“DWF is a leading global provider of integrated legal and business services, with its success driven by the quality of its people, the strength of its client relationships and its truly integrated business model.

“The DWF board of directors recognises the opportunities that could be delivered under private ownership with Inflexion, which includes access to significant capital to invest in staff and technology, accelerated lateral hiring and transformative acquisitions across jurisdictions.

“Inflexion has a clear ambition to support the management team to execute its strategy to create a global professional services business emanating from the legal sector and this will enhance the already exceptional and differentiated services that we deliver for our clients.”

Flor Kassai, Head of Inflexion’s Buyout Fund, said: “We have followed DWF’s progress since IPO with interest and have been very impressed with the development of the business and expansion of its offering to date.

“We are excited to partner with DWF as we look to support the business in delivering on its vision to become the leading provider of integrated legal and business professional services, through continued strong organic growth and targeted acquisitions in the UK and international markets.”