Financial services firm in £9m double swoop

Richard Fraser

Financial services firm Frenkel Topping has acquired A & M Bacon and Partners in Costs (PIC) for a total consideration of £9m.

A & M Bacon is a firm of civil and commercial litigation costs specialists and PIC is one of the UK’s leading costs law specialists with costs lawyers and costs consultants. Both are based in Doncaster.

AIM-listed Frenkel Topping will pay £5m of the overall cost in cash, £900,000 through the issue of 2,000,000 ordinary shares on completion and a further £3.1m deferred consideration in cash in two tranches on January 31, 2022 and January 31, 2023.

Salford-based Frenkel Topping said the acquisitions are firmly in line with its strategy to pursue quality opportunities in, and to drive consolidation of, the pre-settlement professional services marketplace in personal injury and clinical negligence. Both PIC and A & M Bacon are leading specialist cost firms.

In addition to certain cost synergies, the claimants these two companies provide services to, will naturally benefit from the additional services that Frenkel Topping offer, such as welfare benefits assessments, trust advice in conjunction with forensic accounting and expert witness services throughout the entire timespan of a claim.

Bringing PIC and A&M Bacon into the wider group will enhance the company’s chances of winning the AUM (assets under management) mandate in the result of a successful claim.

This concurs with the group’s strategy to give financial advice to recipients of large personal injury/clinical negligence awards and to manage the damages within the group’s discretionary asset management business.

The acquisitions are cash generative and will be immediately earnings enhancing following completion.

PIC was established as Northern Costing in 1996 and incorporated in 2001 with an office in Doncaster and fee earners nationwide. It currently employee 52 staff and specialises in civil litigation claims, including personal injury – ranging from catastrophic injury to clinical negligence – professional negligence, commercial claims and court of protection costs.

In the year ended April 30, 2020, PIC had revenues of £3.64m, and generated £734,000 profit before tax as at April 30, 2020.

A & M Bacon was incorporated in 1999 and is based in Doncaster. It currently employs 12 staff and is a costs firm dealing with commercial litigation, immigration claims, planning disputes, ATE premium recovery and personal injury claims for both defendants and claimants.

In the year ended March 31, 2020, A & M Bacon had revenues of £1.064m, and generated £191,000 profit before tax as at March 31, 2020.

Reuben Glynn and Teresa Aitken will remain with the group in their roles, with Reuben Glynn as chief executive of A&M Bacon and Teresa Aitken as chief executive of PIC.

They have extensive experience in civil and commercial litigation costs. As shareholders in the company, they will be fully incentivised to drive the future growth of the business.

Richard Fraser, Frenkel Topping chief executive, said: “The acquisitions fit exactly into our strategy of acquiring high quality businesses in the personal injury and clinical negligence market and builds on the successful acquisition and integration of Forths last year.

“I have known Reuben and Teresa for many years and have been greatly impressed with what they and their team have built, and I very much look forward to welcoming them into the enlarged business. These acquisitions will further strengthen our offering and drive the continued growth of Frenkel Topping.”

Reuben Glynn said: “I am extremely excited to join the Frenkel Topping Group. A&M Bacon have become the leading costs specialist in local government and Court of Protection.

“Unfortunately, last year we lost our founder Michael Bacon after a short illness. Michael was a true legal cost legend. Michael would have wholeheartedly supported this opportunity.”

Teresa Aitken said: “The client remains the centre of everything we do at PIC. As a team we are excited to be on board with the Frenkel Topping Group to ultimately ensure that together the injured client receives a seamless service.

“We’re particularly looking forward to getting involved and helping to shape the knowledge hub through training and opportunities to young adults to achieve their potential as well as the Frenkel Topping charitable foundation for those individuals who, through life experience, are unable to access damages to help them deal with life’s challenges.”