Market announcement

Acquisition of Persona Associates Limited

Acquisition of Persona Associates Limited

Gateley (Holdings) Plc (AIM: GTLY), the legal and professional services group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Persona Associates Limited ("Persona").

Background to Persona

Persona is one of the UK's longest-established and leading land referencing consultancies, advising on some of the UK's largest infrastructure and regeneration projects. Persona provides expertise on statutory processes relating to long-term infrastructure projects involving Compulsory Purchase Orders, Development Consent Orders and Transport and Works Act Orders.

Terms of the acquisition

Under the terms of the acquisition, Gateley will acquire the entire issued share capital of Persona for a net cash-free debt-free normalised working capital consideration of £250,000, of which £153,728.80 will be satisfied on completion by the issuance of 94,312 ordinary shares of 10 pence each in the capital of Gateley ("Ordinary Shares") at a price of 163 pence per Ordinary Share.

Deferred consideration will be payable on 1 May 2020 subject to certain conditions being satisfied relating to the on-going operation of the business. The deferred consideration will be settled as to 60% in cash and as to 40% in Ordinary Shares.

The Board expects the acquisition to be immediately earnings enhancing.

Acquisition rationale

Persona has worked with the group's property consultancy business, Gateley Hamer for a number of years.

The acquisition will enable Gateley Hamer to deliver additional value added land and property information via an end-to-end service for the country's largest infrastructure, regeneration and housing projects. The addition of the Persona team will also deliver efficiencies to the production of title reports for housebuilders and commercial developers and enable plans to be produced at an earlier stage in order to support Gateley Legal's Residential Development and Real Estate teams.

Commenting on the acquisition, Gateley CEO, Michael Ward said: "We are delighted to welcome the Persona team on board. Persona and Gateley Hamer have worked together on a number of long-term projects in recent years and we know there are many synergies that will benefit clients. This is an exciting opportunity for the group and sits within the diversification part of our strategy to establish complementary business services that support the legal side of our business.

"We believe there is also an opportunity for Persona to develop within our Property group in the same way that Gateley Hamer has done in the last three years and we look forward to supporting their future development in line with our growth plans."  

Issue of new Ordinary Shares

As part of the consideration payable on completion, 94,312 Ordinary Shares are to be issued.  Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the Ordinary Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM ("Admission").  It is expected that Admission will take place at 8.00 a.m. on 2 August 2019.

The new Ordinary Shares will rank pari passu with the existing Ordinary Shares in issue. Following Admission, Gateley's total issued share capital will comprise 110,955,101 Ordinary Shares. This number may be used by shareholders in Gateley as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change in their interest in, the share capital of Gateley under the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

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