Aim-listed legal expenses provider will pay at least £4.4m for Accountax

Abbey Protection, the specialist supplier of legal and professional fees insurance products, has agreed to acquire all of the issued shares in consultancy Accountax for an initial consideration of £4.4m.

Accountax is independent accountancy, tax and employment law consultancy with clients drawn from accountancy practices, the construction industry and personal service companies.

The initial consideration will £4.4m, plus an adjustment for net assets which will be determined by completion accounts. A maximum contingent consideration of £1.85m will be payable at the end of 2009, subject to operating criteria being met.

Abbey said the initial consideration wouldl be satisfied by cash which will be met out of current reserves. It added that if the acquisition performed as expected it would contribute revenues of £2.5 million in 2009.

Dave Smith, director and majority shareholder in Accountax, and all of the senior management team will remain with the company.

Colin Davison, chief executive of Abbey Protection, said: "Accountax is a company we have long admired and I am delighted to welcome the team into the Abbey Protection Group. Like ourselves, Accountax has a history of successful growth and a strong service ethic, and the cultural and strategic fit for the two businesses is compelling. Accountax is also a very strong brand, which we intend to maintain and develop.

"The acquisition will give Abbey Protection an additional range of services and products to market through our own accountancy practice clients. This deal represents an important milestone in our strategy of organic growth and the acquisition of complementary businesses, and we are confident of continued success for the enlarged group.”

Smith said: "Abbey Protection is an ideal partner for Accountax and I am delighted that together we will be at the forefront of our chosen markets by becoming the largest independent tax consultancy in the UK. The deal will also provide significant benefits for our clients and partners, and further opportunities for our employees.”