Watchstone Group PLC - Response to announcement by Slater & Gordon Ltd London Stock Exchange
RNS Number : 1367K
Watchstone Group PLC
19 September 2016


Watchstone Group plc


("Watchstone" or the "Company")



Watchstone Group plc (LON:WTG) notes the announcement by Slater and Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) advising that it and/or Slater and Gordon (UK) 1 Ltd (together "SGH") intend to bring a claim against Watchstone arising from SGH UK's purchase of the Company's Professional Services Division in May 2015 ("SGH Announcement").


Watchstone confirms that it has today received preliminary correspondence on behalf of SGH notifying it of a purported claim. The Company does not believe that there are grounds for a claim to be brought and will defend it robustly.


Watchstone conducted a professional and transparent disposal process of the Professional Services Division assisted and advised by leading specialists. In addition, Watchstone allowed SGH the opportunity to complete an extensive and detailed due diligence process with the assistance and advice of a similarly specialist team.


Watchstone notes reference in the SGH Announcement to the escrow account containing £50.0m of the original purchase consideration for the acquisition ("Warranty Escrow") due for release to Watchstone on 29 November 2016.


Following 29 November 2016, monies will be released to Watchstone from the Warranty Escrow unless, inter alia, Watchstone receives an opinion of a senior independent barrister stating that a given claim is more likely to succeed than not ("Opinion"). The Opinion will also quantify what such claim, if successfully brought against Watchstone, would be valued at and this amount would then be retained in the Warranty Escrow until the purported claim was resolved with any excess up to the £50.0m released to Watchstone. Prior to the giving of an Opinion, Watchstone will have the opportunity to make submissions in respect of such matters.


Watchstone will make further announcements in due course, as appropriate.


For further information:


Watchstone Group plc                                               

         Tel: 03333 448048

Tulchan Communications      

Tel: 020 7353 4200

Susanna Voyle



Peel Hunt LLP, Nominated Adviser and broker


Tel: 020 7418 8900

Dan Webster




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