‘Landmark’ deal as Blume acquired by Sun Capital

Peter Haden, CEO, Fletchers Group, Dez Derry, Founder & CEO, Blume and Steve Evans, COO, Blume

Blume, the legal customer acquisition specialist, has been acquired by private equity firm, Sun European Partners.

The deal, which puts the Manchester-based customer acquisition specialists on track to reach £30m sales in 2023, will give Blume greater scale and reach, and help accelerate its growth in the legal services market.

It will also allow the business to further invest in its marketing operations to extend its service offerings, improve efficiencies and deliver greater commercial returns for its panel firms.

As part of the transaction, Blume become part of the newly formed Fletchers Group, which was also acquired by Sun Partners in October last year.

Blume will take responsibility for managing Fletchers’ consumer-facing operations. They include The Medical Law Network, a marketing network for medical negligence law firms owned by Fletchers and its customer-facing brand, Patient Claim Line.

The latest announcement comes off the back of Blume completing its first significant acquisition of Online Legal, and follows a record year of growth with the business doubling in headcount and turnover.

A funding boost earlier this year from Rockpool Investments, who will now exit the business, has helped Blume develop new product offers, expand its technology capabilities and recruit a strong multi-skilled team.

Following the acquisition, Blume Group’s CEO Dez Derry will continue to lead Blume and join a wider Group leadership team, which will also include Blume’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Evans and Fletchers’ Chief Marketing Officer Alex Kenny.

Derry said: “This is a landmark transaction for Blume which will take the business to the next level, giving us the ability to rapidly grow our foundation in partnership with a very strong capital partner.

“The added firepower provided by Sun’s investment, and the opportunity for Blume to build on Fletchers’ Patient Claim Line brand and its panel of law firms is a compelling proposition for the market.

“It will allow us to continue to help our clients prosper by providing more choice and flexibility through a wider portfolio of products and services. We have built an exceptional team and this deal will open up some new and exciting opportunities.

“The future for Blume is brighter than it has ever been, and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in this fantastic development.”

Alex Wyndham, Principal at Sun European Partners said: “The transformation of the legal landscape in recent times makes this an exciting time for M&A.

“Areas that are insulated from recession such as personal injury and medical negligence means legal services is an attractive proposition, and this acquisition gives us a strong foothold in the sector.

“We are focused on seeking out and nurturing promising scale-ups such as Blume to help build the industries of the future and our expectation is that we will be completing more deals in this sector during the next 18 months.”

Peter Haden, CEO of Fletchers Group added: “The acquisition of Blume brings a high quality, growth-focused business to the Group and creates the UK’s leading medical negligence customer acquisition specialists in the UK.

“While our legal practice will operate as a separate entity, we are two highly complementary teams and big champions of the benefits that technology can bring to the sector, both as suppliers to law firms and to improve our service to clients.”

The deal is subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority.