Gordon Dadds aims for public listing through reverse takeover

London-based law firm Gordon Dadds looks set to join London’s AIM market as it confirms advanced takeover discussions with marketing company Work Group.

The reverse takeover bid by AIM-listed Work Group values the acquisitive law firm at £18.75m. If it goes ahead, the firm, which has offices in London and Cardiff, will join Gateley on the public market.

Work Group, which was bought by UK outsourcer Capita in 2015, said it plans to raise up to £20m via a placing to fund further acquisitions and meet working capital requirements of the enlarged company. The company will also use a small amount of the proceeds to repay Gordon Dadds’ borrowings.

It said in a statement:  “Whilst the negotiations are very advanced at this stage, there can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the final terms of any offer.”

In 2014, Gordon Dadds acquired 30 partners and 80 staff from West End law firm Davenport Lyons after it went into administration. It also acquired the firm’s client database and the majority of its assets following a deal with administrator Baker Tilly.

Previously, Gateley floated on London’s AIM market in June 2015, becoming the first UK law firm to go public, with the firm recouping £5m from the float and partners taking home £25m.

In October last year, Legal Week reported that Gateley partners made almost £6.4m from selling shares in the firm, according to a filing with the London Stock Exchange.

Partners sold 5,761,971 shares at a sale price of £1.11 to new and existing shareholders.

Gateley announced double-digit revenue and profit growth to the London Stock Exchange earlier today, in its second set of annual results since it listed in 2015.

The Birmingham-headquartered firm’s revenue increased 15.7% to £77.6m, up from £67.1m last year, while profit before tax increased 18.8% to £13.1m, up from £11m in 2016.