One of the world’s first law firm to list on the stock exchange, Slater & Gordon has entered into an agreement to acquire Queensland based Trilby Misso Lawyers for $57 million.
Slater and Gordon are a significant player in the Australian personal injuries litigation market, employing over 600 people nationwide. The acquisition of Trilby Misso will be a boost to Slater & Gordon’s strategic goal of leading the Australian personal injuries litigation market, especially in Queensland.
Slater and Gordon is best known for the December 2005 settlement negotiated with James Hardie worth some $4.5 billion on behalf of asbestos victims working for the company before James Hardie relocated overseas.
The acquisition will be funded by a combination of cash, equity and deferred consideration and is expected to be in the order of 9% annualised earnings per share accretive in FY11*. Slater & Gordon also announced today a capital raising to raise approximately $40 million at $1.40 per share to fund the cash component of the acquisition.
Slater & Gordon Managing Director Andrew Grech described Trilby Misso as the perfect opportunity to grow the two firms Queensland market share ambitions.
“Trilby Misso delivers growth that would have taken us a number of years and a heavy investment to achieve organically,” Mr Grech said. “It also gives us a fantastic revenue base and highly skilled and experienced practitioners.”
Trilby Misso is approximately one quarter the size of Slater Gordon and employs 150 people in five offices across south east Queensland.
The acquisition brings together two of the best known names in the Queensland personal injury litigation sector. In brand awareness surveys from 2009 Trilby Misso enjoyed 76 percent total (prompted and unprompted) awareness in Brisbane while Slater & Gordon recorded 59 percent.
“With two such powerful brand names, it makes sense to keep both going and there is certainly a place for both in the marketplace,” Mr Grech said. “We plan to have the Trilby Misso and Slater & Gordon businesses focused on what each does best.”