Lancashire debt group in £15m buyout

Growth: Chris Moat
Growth: Chris Moat
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Lancashire debt management group Fairpoint is set to take over consumer law firm Simpson Millar in a deal worth up to £15m.

The Adlington-based group has agreed to pay an initial £9m payable in cash and shares, along with a further earn-out consideration of up to £6m.

Fairpoint said today the acquisition is expected to accelerate the growth of the group.

Chris Moat, chief executive officer of Fairpoint, said: “The proposed acquisition of Simpson Millar presents us with an opportunity to accelerate the diversification of our income streams into the legal services marketplace, in line with our stated strategy.

“Simpson Millar has already made significant progress in developing a powerful consumer offering, through the combination of strong legal skills with the innovative application of technology and legal processes.

“Our shared vision and approach is a solid basis upon which to further develop the consumer-focused legal services business and to help buyers of legal services make their money go further.

“Overall, the acquisition is expected to accelerate the growth of the group and deliver enhanced earnings.”

Leeds-based Simpson Millar provides legal services, with its main lines including family, personal injury, and clinical negligence.

The 150-year-old firm has more than 250 employees, based in 13 offices around the UK, including Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester.

In 2013, Simpson Millar generated consolidated revenues of £16.9m.

Peter Watson, managing partner of Simpson Millar said: “We see this as a really innovative move in the market, which will allow us to reach more customers.”