Slater & Gordon shareholders have given the firm approval today (9 August) to raise funds to acquire the Queensland personal injury firm Trilby Misso Lawyers.
At an extraordinary general meeting this morning, shareholders of the firm voted to approve the Board's proposal to raise $40 million in two stages.
Shareholders voted to ratify the first tranche of that placement through the raising of $23.5 million through the issue of almost 17 million shares at $1.40 per share. The shareholders also voted to approve the completion of tranche two of the capital raising, with the firm seeking to raise an additional $14.5 million through the additional issuing of around 10.3 million shares to professional and sophisticated investors.
The full cost of the acquisition is $57 million, with Slaters funding the purchase through cash, equity and deferred consideration.
The acquisition could be completed by the end of the week.
Slaters managing director Andrew Grech told Lawyers Weekly that the firm does not have any immediate plans to go back to the market to fund further acquisitions in the near future.
"We will continue to focus our energy on organic growth...but we will still consider acquiring [firms] with revenue of between $2 to $5 million," Grech said. "I think it is established that is a core competency of the firm now."
The chair of Slater & Gordon, Anna Booth, told the meeting that in brand awareness surveys, Trilby Misso enjoyed a 76 per cent awareness (prompted and unprompted) recognition rating in Brisbane, with Slater & Gordon recording 59 per cent. The next highest firm was recorded at 32 per cent.
Trilby Misso employs 150 people across its five offices in south-east Queensland with over half of its practice in motor vehicle accident claims and 40 per cent in workers compensation. The firm will continue to operate as a stand alone business under the Trilby Misso name.