Following the recent takeover of Ince & Co by listed legal practice Gordon Dadds LLP, IBI has since learnt that the former was close to insolvency and may have actually been in administration at the time of acquisition.
Ince, which has a strong superyacht team, was acquired in a pre-pack deal for £27.3m and the combined group has been renamed Ince Gordon Dadds LLP. The initial announcement about the takeover/merger was made in October but not completed until late December.
Based on the information received, it is believed that Gordon Dadds was allegedly informed about the possibility of Ince’s insolvency position, highlighting a potential risk for investors due to the level of liabilities. The pre-pack administration deal for the takeover reportedly reduces the risk as it allows a new owner to continue trading without exposure to the liabilities or debts.
The initial takeover involved the UK and China offices of Ince & Co, but not the offices in Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Dubai or Singapore. These are currently trading using the Ince name, but the plan, as confirmed to IBI by an IGD spokesman, is to bring these offices into the group over the coming months.
Only the French and Monaco offices of Ince & Co will not be part of the deal.
IBI understands that under the pre-pack deal, 24 Ince equity partners have be transferred to IGD in return for a commitment to stay with new ownership for at least 18 months.