British law firm DWL LLP has acquired insurance specialist Triton Global for the bargain basement price of 30% of its value. The deal was struck just days before HM Revenue & Customs attempted to wind the firm up over unpaid tax of £1.3m. Triton Global was a competitor of DWL, but cash flow difficulties left it unable to cover its working capital requirements and service creditor debt. The deal sees DWL pay £1.1m for Triton Global, with unsecured creditors set to receive less than 4p to the pound. Of the purchase price, only £174,000 is allocated to the approximately 200 unsecured creditors, who are owed around £5m. DWF has also agreed to take on pension arrears of £345,000.
The European partnership of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) was put into administration in London in January 2017, owing over £37m in total to creditors. (The Asian and North American partnerships operating under the KWM name were not involved). KWM sought to avoid the European administration with a rescue package that aimed to reduce debt with £14m raised from the partners. However, only 21 of around 130 European partners agreed to commit to the capital raising deal. KWM China has been critical of the management and leadership of the European branch. A new 33 partner firm will emerge in Europe from the administration, which will have a Swiss Verein structure allowing management from KWM China. Creditors include Barclays Bank (partly secured but around £13m unsecured), trade creditors (£6.8m) and former members of the LLP (£12.6m). The recent administrators' report suggests that around £5m will be available for Barclays.
Multinational personal injury firm Slater & Gordon is now expected to avoid a collapse following attempts to restructure the severely troubled firm. The ASX listed firm continues to post losses and the most recent half yearly announcement saw the share price drop by 22% to 12.5c. The firm's troubles stem from its 2015 acquisition of troubled UK insurance claims provider Quindell. Most recent reports suggest that the firm's major bankers, which together held in excess of $700 million in debt, have sold their debt to distressed-debt buyers. A debt for equity swap is expected to follow, signalling a restructure is underway.