Burford launches bid to raise millions more to fund law firms and litigation

Burford: seeking more investment

Burford: seeking more investment

Burford Capital has launched its bid to raise tens more millions of pounds to invest in litigation and law firms.

The AIM-listed company has issued an offer of 6.125% sterling bonds, maturing on 26 October 2024, which will be guaranteed by Burford.

The bonds will pay a fixed rate of interest of 6.125% per annum. Interest will be payable semi-annually in arrears in equal instalments.

The bonds have a minimum initial subscription amount of £2,000 and are available in multiples of £100 thereafter. Investors will be able to sell them at any time on the open market. The bonds are expected to be admitted to trading on the regulated market of the London Stock Exchange.

It is Burford’s second bond issue, with the first having raised around £90m, and the company hopes to attract a similar level of interest this time around.

Burford’s recent results revealed that it saw income rise 26% to £73m in 2015, mainly thanks to several litigation investments maturing, along with a 27% increase in operating profit to £54m.

Last year also saw Burford commit a record £145m in new investments, and its current portfolio stands at £442m in commitments, across 54 different litigation investments. It is operating in 40 countries and US states, and working with more than 40 law firms.

That Burford has chosen to seek more investment, rather than recycle its profit, indicates that it sees continued growth potential.

The annual report explained how Burford was evolving in line with the legal market’s changing attitude towards outside capital. From having originally just funded individual cases, only 13% of its new investments in 2015 were single matters, with the rest “a variety of other forms of capital provision to the legal market”.

This included providing £71m ($100m) in capital for an unnamed global law firm, in its largest transaction ever.

The offer period for the bonds is expected to close on 19 April 2016.

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