Fairs is a leading supplier of portfolio management and commission management software to Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs). Founded in 1984, Fairs has around 300 clients, most of whom licence the software on an annual basis. Clients include national and regional IFAs, including banks, building societies, accountancy practices and solicitors.
Fairs had net assets of Â£528,525 as at 31 December 2003, the majority of which are in cash or other liquid investments. In the financial year ended 31 December 2003, Fairs had a turnover of Â£920,000 and a profit before tax of Â£189,000. The two owner directors of Fairs who have been working on a part time basis, are retiring. Their combined salary and costs amounted to Â£153,000 in the year ended 31 December 2003. Gary Sawyer, who has been with the business for nine years will remain as the General Manager of Fairs.
Application has been made for the 5,882,353 WMS shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that admission to trading will become effective on 17 May 2004.
Paul Newton, commenting on the transaction said:
"We are delighted to announce this acquisition, which broadens our portfolio of investment products, increases our recurring revenues, and has an excellent prospect of increasing earnings. Fairs has a long history in the IFA market, but has a relatively new product line and will benefit from the increased profile of being part of a public company.
We plan to operate Fairs as a separate division, utilising our group marketing capabilities to increase sales both within and outside the UK. Following the acquisition of Fairs the Group will continue to look for opportunities to extend its product offering and enhance earnings growth in the future including further potential acquisitions in its core markets."