DWF in talks to be sold to private equity house

updated on 11 July 2023

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Private equity investors are in talks to buy the largest firm on the stock market, DWF Group Plc.

The firm responded to media speculation just yesterday (10 July) by issuing a statement confirming that it’s in ongoing talks with Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP.

Under the proposed agreement, DWF shareholders would receive 100 pence per share in return for the entire issued capital of the business. This would comprise a cash payment of 97 pence per share and a dividend of 3 pence per share to be paid just six months after the deal closes.

As part of the proposed deal, shareholders also have the option to choose to receive a partial loan note alternative instead of the cash consideration or to receive a cash consideration and reinvest 40% immediately into loan notes or preference shares.

DWF has stressed that any firm offer remains subject to a number of pre-conditions, including:

  • completion of satisfactory due diligence;
  • receipt of irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the transaction; and
  • an agreement of the detailed terms of the proposal.

The firm was the largest legal practice to float in the UK, raising around £95 million by selling £61.5 million new shares when it went public in 2019.

If the sale goes ahead, it’ll be the latest blow for publicly listed legal services after the Ince Group was bought out of administration in April by national law firm, Axiom DWFM.

If DWF is sold back into the private sphere, only four legal services companies will remain listed in the City, Gateley Legal, Knights Solicitors LLP, Keystone Law and RBG Legal Services Limited.