Well, it’s happened. On 1 August 2019, the Federal Court of Australia approved the scheme of arrangement under which IPH acquired the entirety of Xenith IP for cash and scrip.
A roller coaster ride indeed! The journey of Xenith began in the heady days that followed the listing of the business of Spruson & Ferguson as IPH. The partnership of Shelston IP – seizing the day – listed their medium-sized firm as Xenith IP (on the back of promises of a large and growing Chinese client base). Initially, Xenith IP did quite well in terms of share price – riding the coat tails of IPH’s success and hitting all their financial targets.
However, perhaps realising that they would never have the scale to even think about growing larger, Xenith began making acquisitions. First, Watermark, another medium-sized firm which needed a breath of fresh air… And then…and then…and then, dear readers, Xenith made the fateful acquisition which led to its demise: (portentous music) Griffith Hack.
On paper, a massive acquisition, Griffith Hack’s business was larger than Shelston IP and Watermark combined. In practice, an awful one. The Griffith Hack partnership was splintered by the acquisition process, with a lot of bad blood between equity partners and non-equity partners about the split of proceeds. As importantly, Griffith Hack did not meet its financial targets leaving the entire Xenith entity reeling as its share price collapsed. The former CEO stepping back.
Wounded, Xenith sought solace in the kindness of strangers, courted by QANTM IP for a time in the famed “merger of equals”. A story which I have attempted to chronicle in many previous posts of this blog.
Sadly, like all great tragic love stories, this merger was never to be as IPH swooped in with a superior offer (on paper).
We never really had a chance to know you Xenith IP. Farewell.