DWF to acquire Spanish law firm RCD for €50.5 million

LONDON: DWF Group has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Rousaud Costas Duran (RCD), an independent Spanish law firm, for up to €50.5 million (£42.5m) in shares and cash with the transaction expected to complete prior to 31 December 2019.

Initial consideration consisting of €7.4 million (£6.2m) in cash and €27.6 million (£23.2m) in newly issued DWF shares will be paid at completion. An additional cash consideration of up to €15.5 million (£13.1m) will be partly deferred and partly contingent on performance.

DWF is a global legal business providing complex, managed and connected services, operating from 28 key locations with approximately 3,200 people.

RCD is a full-service law firm with strengths in corporate law, tax, insurance, financial services, real estate and energy. It is also a leading firm in Spain for innovation and entrepreneurship and has been consistently ranked by The Financial Times among Europe’s most innovative law firms.

RCD’s experienced leadership team includes founders and Co-Managing Partners Adolf Rousaud and Ignasi Costas.

The Acquisition cements DWF’s presence in Spain by establishing offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, with all 40 of RCD’s partners and more than 400 people joining the Company. DWF has been working with RCD for more than a year and formalised this as an exclusive association in June 2019.

The transaction will be DWF’s largest acquisition to date and is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in the first full financial year post completion. With significant capabilities and sector alignment and a shared focus on innovation, the transaction brings opportunities for potential natural synergies.

The Acquisition will play another important part in expanding the Group’s global network and will significantly enhance its international division. The deal adds a leading independent law firm and a Connected Services business in Spain to the Company’s international footprint as well as a strong network of connections in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Following the acquisition, DWF will have offices in 12 European cities including Warsaw, Brussels, Dublin, Paris, Milan and four in Germany.

Andrew Leaitherland, Group CEO at DWF, said: “I am delighted to welcome our RCD colleagues to DWF in another important step for the business. The transaction complements the Group’s existing international offering and boosts our expertise and ability to support clients in Spain, and provide access to an extensive network of connections across the Iberian Peninsula as well as Latin America.

“The Acquisition is consistent with DWF’s strategy of acquiring complementary businesses with high levels of recurring revenue and strong cash generation.  RCD will sit within the International division which remains one of the priority growth opportunities and therefore priority areas for the Group’s capital allocation.

“RCD has a range of potential synergies with DWF, with significant capabilities and sector overlap in our three global areas of insurance, financial services and real estate. As leading legal innovators, our businesses have a strong focus on doing things differently, and this is the next logical step towards providing Complex, Managed and Connected Services globally. The transaction also builds on our recent acquisition in Poland, displaying our international expansion ambitions and continued delivery on our IPO priorities.”

Adolf Rousaud, Co-Managing Partner at RCD, said: “Joining DWF provides an excellent opportunity to continue our growth and development, and we are very excited to be part of the Group’s extensive international network which will give us a far broader geographic reach to support our clients. DWF is one of the most innovative legal businesses in the world, and what really attracted us was the cutting-edge approach to providing legal services, supported by leading people and technology. Our values and culture, as well as our strongly aligned sector focus, provide the ideal platform for our future success with DWF.”

Ignasi Costas, Co-Managing Partner at RCD, said: “We are thrilled to be joining DWF. This represents another step in our development, which we started only 16 years ago with a commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. Since then, and thanks to the trust placed in us by clients and our people alike, we have grown to become one of the main law firms in the Spanish market with a transformative approach to law.”

Edited by Kazim Rizvi

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