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Slater and Gordon genii burn $1BN value in 6 month loss

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Here are the Slater and Gordon announcements to the ASX today as its shares resumed trading.

Announcements released as SGH

Date Price
Headline Pages PDF Edited
29/02/2016 asterix Reinstatement to Official Quotation  1 PDF -
29/02/2016   FY16 H1 Financial Results Investor Presentation  20 PDF -
29/02/2016   FY16 H1 Financial Results  6 PDF -
29/02/2016   Half Year Financial Report  35 PDF -
29/02/2016 asterix Appendix 4D  4 PDF -

Call it what you like - the company took $1BN in value during those 6 months and burnt it.  Gone.

Within the past year it paid $1.3BN for its UK acquisition Quindell - how big would the smiles on those vendors faces be now?You only get one Slater and Gordon in your life!   Only thing was Quindell wasn't worth $1.3BN (and Slaters paid using other people's money).  It was worth something like $814M less than $1BN.   Missed by that much!    Just as if they had piles of $100 notes on the kitchen table (like some of their clients do) and forgot to shut the windows.   Whooosh-ka, with a big gust of Slater and Gordon management hot air - gone.  Forever.

Slaters still has borrowings of $714M to service - money from lenders who are nervous.  MD Grech tendered his resignation but his fellow directors apparently didn't see the point - Grech remains at his post.

When you see revenues up (Slater and Gordon's were up 82% to $479.6 million from $226.9 million 12 months ago) it's usually break out the Bodega.  It takes a special skill in a service business to bugger up a profit result on that sort of growth - but Slater and Gordon is a special-needs company.  Profit same period 12 months ago - $50M.   Now, bugger all, not a sausage - the dog ate my profits and dropped a big loss on the kitchen floor.    $1BN worth in a nice smelly pile.  

Put the acquisition to one side and look at the cash burn each month - about $20M chewed up PCM.   That wasn't sitting in the till, prudently provisioned by management to see the company through a planned dry spell.  It's the result of a business out of control and without the support of its lenders insolvent.   If it was a good bet you'd back the lenders in continuing to shovel in the cash to the Grech boiler.   But Slater and Gordon a good financial bet?   You're kidding.   It's not what they know, nor is it what they do - it's who they know and what they know about them.

It pays to have powerful political friends in low places.

Still, look on the bright side...........................it gives us another chance to enjoy the unique value proposition that only a company like this could bring to market!