The market is encouraged by news of the sale of an apparently non-core asset for cash at an attractive price – which, as broker Numis noted, represented 63% of the pre-deal enterprise value of the group as a whole.
The company will enjoy a £25 million net cash position on completion of the deal.
ULS has also announced plans for a new digital platform to ‘revolutionise home moving and ownership’.
Conveyancing Alliance has been sold to Project Ophelia Bidco, a company which also controls O’Neill Patient Solicitors.
ULS said its main operating brand post the disposal, eConveyancer, delivered around £5 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the year to 31 March.
DEVELOPING NEW PLATFORM
This is a business-to-business platform used by banks, building societies, mortgage brokers and estate agents to support the process of identifying and selecting solicitors to handle the legal aspects of a property transaction.
‘It has become increasingly clear to the board that Conveyancing Alliance, which provides an effective but simple conveyancing comparison site to individual mortgage brokers, does not support the group's vision,’ the company said.
‘In contrast, eConveyancer’s technology and B2B relationships provide a more comprehensive conveyancing panel management service to large mortgage broker networks, and to mainstream and specialist lenders.’
Numis analyst Will Wallis said: ‘Over the last year ULS has spent c.£1.5 million developing its DigitalMove platform. Building on that, today’s statement says that the board is “working on an accelerated plan to develop a platform from which consumers can arrange the finance necessary to complete their house purchase, obtain the legal support needed to complete the transaction and select the insurance, utilities and other providers of services they need to run their home”.
‘Incoming CEO Jesper With-Fogstrup will finalise these plans, to be announced in Q2 2021.’