Burford raises £100m for litigation funding warchest

Bogart: strong response

Bogart: strong response

Burford Capital has raised a further £100m in its two-week issue of bonds, the AIM-listed litigation finance company announced today.

The sum raised exceeded Burford’s first bond issue in 2014, which brought in around £90m.

The bonds will pay interest at an annual rate of 6.125% and mature on 26 October 2024.

The money is ready to invest and Burford said that when combined with Burford’s existing investment commitments, it would take the company’s cumulative litigation finance investment commitments to approximately $1bn.

There are more than 500 individual litigation matters underlying Burford’s current investments

Burford’s recent annual report – which recorded a 26% rise in income to £73m, along with a 27% jump in operating profit to £54m – explained how it 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 in capital for an unnamed global law firm, in its largest transaction ever.

Burford CEO Christopher Bogart said: “We are very pleased with the strong response to our second bond issue, which at £100m has well exceeded our first issue and continues to provide us with an unmatched capital base.

“The legal sector is rapidly evolving alternative economic models and demand is increasing globally for Burford’s services. The use of external capital by law firms to support their growth is accelerating, even as corporate clients seek new ways to manage ongoing costs and monetize litigation assets.

“We are grateful for the continuing support of our investors in both our bonds, which has permitted this further expansion of our business, and our shares. We look forward to demonstrating Burford’s further potential.”

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