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Law firm delays IPO plans

Melbourne

An Australian law firm has postponed its plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange following a change in circumstances to its debut.

Melbourne-headquartered Australian Family Lawyers’ is understood to have pushed back its IPO plans while it holds further discussions with the ASX.

The move comes after the local law firm revealed its plans to list on the ASX via a reverse takeover of mining company Navigator Resources Limited.

According to Business News Australia, the “backdoor listing” was approved by Navigator shareholders last month with expectations the IPO “would raise $6.5 million by the time offers were due to close” on 1 May.

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However this week the market has received confirmation that offers have been extended until 29 May following “strong subscriptions” and interest from existing and new institutional and retail investors.

Proposed new chairman Grant Dearlove told Business News Australia that such strong support for Australian Family Lawyers while it undergoes the IPO process is testament to the opportunity it is taking on to become the nation’s first ever ASX-listed family law firm.

“Currently our market is worth $1.1 billion in revenue per annum and in contrast to personal injury law, there is no dominant or national player despite the fact [that] the markets are of a similar size,” Mr Dearlove said.

“This represents a significant opportunity for AFL.”

This latest news comes after considerable movement in the ASX-listed firm space.

Earlier this year, Shine Lawyers confirmed it had appointed three additional practice heads across its personal injury and litigation and loss recovery spheres following growing client demand, and Slater and Gordon confirmed it would be investigating a class action into the “systemic culture of excessive and unsafe working hours” for hospital-based doctors.

The ASX-listed three intellectual property firms have also been busy, with IPH Limited offering to acquire Xenith IP Group, overriding Xenith’s initial plans to merge with Qantm Intellectual Property Ltd.

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