Plans for an initial public offering (IPO) this month were announced today by UK national firms Knights, a move which promises more acquisitions and new hires. Details have yet to be released iconcerning the business to be placed and the valuation.
More acquisitions, more hires
The June IPO is expected to value the business in excess of £100m, outstripping Gateley, the first English firm to go public in 2015, which was valued at £100m when it floated. Knights has expanded rapidly under chief executive officer David Beech, growing revenue from £8m in 2012 to £34.9m last year when it entered the UK's top 100 law firms for the first time. The practice aims to recruit more than 200 extra fee earners and make three further acquisitions. Part of the IPO proceeds will go to pay down existing debt, provide general working capital, and support the acquisition strategy, and expects to attract new hires.
Massive change ahead
The firm, over 200 years old, came to prominence in 2012 as one of the first converters to alternative business structure regime (ABS) status. Mr Beech said Knights would target firms in the top 50-200 by revenue in the UK for further consolidation. He told City AM, ‘there are lots of those single office firms with a revenue between £5m and £40m, that is our range, that is what we are looking to consolidate. A real sweet spot for us would be £5m to £15m turnover law firms.’ He explained, ‘the top global 20 will remain similar, the next 50 large national firms will reduce in number and the next 150 will change massively. They will reduce in number massively and we want to be the dominant firm in that space. You will see a large reduction in the 50 and an even larger reduction in the 150 through acquisitions, mergers and failures unfortunately. You will see a huge change in the next decade driven by client demand for value and the catalyst of technology.’