Rebecca Wayman

Gordon Dadds acquires White & Black Limited for over £2.5m

Gordon Dadds Group plc, a London-based legal and professional services business, has completed the acquisition of specialist technology solicitors, White & Black Limited for £2.918m.

White & Black has net cash of approximately £1m. The acquisition will be funded from existing cash resources.

White & Black’s technology skills and overseas clients aim to enhance the group’s growing corporate and dispute resolution practices and provide many cross-selling opportunities. It is in line with the company’s stated strategy for acquisitions.

The board expects that the acquisition will be significantly earnings enhancing for the first full year, to March 31 2019.

Commenting on the acquisition, Adrian Biles, Gordon Dadds’ chief executive officer, said: “I am delighted to have completed our second focused and specialist acquisition after Gordon Dadds’ successful IPO in August 2017.

“White & Black Limited is a highly regarded and profitable business which will add to the group’s expertise in the technology and corporate space. It will also provide further opportunities for cross-selling services within the group.”

White & Black is a law firm specialising in technology and corporate law, related to intellectual property and dispute aspects. It has a substantial international client base, with a particularly strong presence in the Far East.

For the year ended October 31 2017, White & Black achieved unaudited EBITDA of £0.85m and a profit before tax of £0.66m on fee income of £2.59m.

White & Black will continue to operate as a separate business from London and Oxfordshire under its well established name.

White & Black also has A Shares in issue which are held by the vendors of the ordinary share capital. The A shares have a right to 30 per cent of the profits (after tax) of White & Black in excess of £400k in each year.

The company has an option to acquire the remaining A shares between three and four years after completion, then the holders will have the right to put those shares onto the group between four and five years after completion.

The Directors of Gordon Dadds regard the existence of these options, in addition to service contracts for the selling partners running to May 2020, as an incentive to the vendors to continue to drive the business forward.

Phil Riman, CEO of White & Black, added: “We are excited to be working with Adrian and his team to further the development of our business and take us to the next stage.

“The increased range of services we have access to within Gordon Dadds will enable us to deal with a larger proportion of our clients’ needs and those of their key people without any dilution of our specialist offering.”

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