Slater & Gordon buys UK firm

Law firm poised to announce outcome of rumoured UK acquisition after bumper result.

Law firm Slater & Gordon's (SGH) has bought United Kingdom personal injury law firm Fentons Solicitors after its aggressive expansion into the state helped push it to a bumper full-year profit. 

The firm exited a trading halt to announce it had paid $54.2 million for the 40-partner Fentons, including $40.4 million in upfront cash.  

In the six months to June 30, Slater & Gordon recorded a net profit of $41.8 million, a 67.6% lift on the $24.9 million achieved in the previous corresponding period.

It came on the back of a 36.69% rise in revenue for the period to $297.5 million, from $217.7 million year-on-year.

The group will pay a final dividend of 3.85 cents, up on the 3.5 cents paid in the prior year. Its total dividend rose 10% to 6.6 cents. 

Last week, the company said it had become aware that potentially price sensitive information about a potential UK acquisition was published in the media after market close on August 16 and by an investment analyst on August 17.

The group said it is concerned to avoid any trading taking place on the basis of this information in the absence of a board decision about the possible acquisition.

The halt will remain until  Wednesday August 21.

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