Leading dispute financiers IMF Bentham and Omni Bridgeway announce plans to merge

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The two companies entered the transaction with strong long-term capital bases and impressive track records

SYDNEY, October 15 2019: Leading litigation and disputes funder IMF Bentham Limited (ASX:IMF) announces that it is acquiring Omni Bridgeway Holdings BV to create a truly global diversified funder with over A$2.2 billion in capital to fund disputes and enforcement proceedings of significant size and complexity throughout the world.
 
On completion of the deal IMF Bentham will acquire all of Omni Bridgeway’s investment and business activities. The minimum transaction value amounts to approximately EUR 55 million, which may further increase contingent on future business development.
 
While the transaction involves IMF Bentham buying Omni Bridgeway’s business, it is a merger of equals,” said Andrew Saker, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IMF Bentham.
 

The combination forms a formidable ally for clients, with 18 offices in 10 countries across the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and 145 professionals experienced in legal and recovery systems world-wide and fluent in more than 20 languages. Together IMF Bentham and Omni Bridgeway have a 33-year track record of funded and recovered claims throughout the world to create a reliable partner for individuals, companies and professional advisers seeking strategic finance solutions.

Those solutions span from inception of a case through trial, appeal, enforcement and legal recovery, and include:

  • funding and management of disputes, and international enforcement of judgments and awards (including against sovereigns in all continents)
  • enforcement of non-performing loans of banks and subrogation claims of insurance companies
  • world-first After-the-Event cost protection cover in cost-shifting jurisdictions.
The tie-up combines two pioneers of the litigation funding industry. IMF Bentham began funding disputes in Australia in the 1990s and has helped shape the globalized litigation finance industry via continual expansion and a record of achieving notable success rates and returns.
 
Omni Bridgeway was founded in the Netherlands in 1986 and is known as a leading financier of high-value claims and a global specialist in cross-border enforcement against sovereign governments. The Omni Bridgeway group includes ROLAND ProzessFinanz, a leading German litigation funder which became part of Omni Bridgeway in 2017, as well as Omni Bridgeway’s joint venture with IFC (part of the World Bank Group) which consists of a dedicated fund and Dubai-based expertise center aimed at assisting banks with the funding and managing the enforcement of non-performing loans and related disputes in the Middle East and Africa region.
 
Like IMF Bentham, Omni Bridgeway has been at the forefront of the dispute finance industry in its regions and areas for decades,” said Andrew Saker. “As one of Continental Europe’s leading litigation funders, it offered unique advantages compared to other acquisition candidates that IMF Bentham considered for its European expansion. Those factors, combined with a strong cultural fit, made clear that merging was the right choice at the right time for both companies.”
 
IMF Bentham and Omni Bridgeway achieve a shared goal of global diversification and presence in key litigation markets via the merger. Their new team includes professionals with wide-ranging expertise across all types of disputes and economists, financial experts, business intelligence and asset tracing professionals.
 
We view the merger as a partnership of complementary strengths,” said Raymond van Hulst, Managing Director at Omni Bridgeway. “Together, we have the global scale and local understanding needed for today’s complex multi-jurisdictional and domestic disputes.”
 
Since we were introduced by leading global investment bank Houlihan Lokey in March 2018, IMF Bentham and Omni Bridgeway have partnered on numerous projects and have discovered that our two companies, which have evolved on parallel paths, have a like-mindedness and commitment to excellence that distinguishes us from the competition,” said Andrew Saker.
 
IMF Bentham will continue to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and the combined group will use the first-class business operations, reporting and accounting practices that have shaped IMF Bentham’s reputation as a trustworthy and reliable disputes financier. The combined group will assume one global name pending a rebrand projected for completion by 30 June 2020.