Who Will Prevail Amongst the Listed IP Firms?

Posted at Legal Practice Intelligence - 7 September 2016 - by Peter Frankl

Three ASX-listed firms providing IP and Trademark services have essentially the same stated goals.

The three firms are IPH Limited, Xenith IP Group and Qantm Intellectual Property Limited.

The goals, summarised from Qantm’s recent Prospectus, are:

• Common business processes (in consolidating firms) enabling reduced costs 

• Asian expansion

• Acquisitions and

• Increased efficiencies with technology

Growth through acquisition requires funding, hence the benefit of being listed on the ASX.

IPH Limited has had first-mover advantage. It listed in November 2014 and has made a number of substantial acquisitions. IPH Limited is profitable and has grown quicker over the last two years than the other two contenders.

At 30 June 2016, IPH employed 420+ people and had established a footprint across Asia. Furthermore, it has a technology business called Practice Insight.

The second to list on the ASX was Xenith. This occurred in November 2015 - one year later than IPH’s listing. 

Prior to its listing, Xenith stated that it sought expansion into Southeast Asia by leveraging off its current technology platform and established agent networks to offer existing and potential new clients pre-packaged service solutions for IP protection throughout the region.

Xenith regards its technology platform as an important element of its service offering and a key driver of its operational efficiency. The company also believes its technology platform provides significant competitive advantages.

Xenith recently announced that it will be acquiring 90-person firm, Watermark Group. Xenith currently employs around 100 people. This was an important acquisition in terms of scaling up, although it is still the smallest of the three listed competitors.

The most recent firm to list on the ASX, which took place only last week, was Qantm. This was a combination of Davies Collison Cave Group and Freehills Patent Attorneys. Davies Collison was the larger of the two firms.

At the date of the Qantm Prospectus, Davies Collison and Freehills Patent  Attorneys employed approximately 373 people.

Three firms are lined up on the ASX with potential access to investor funds. Each is in the same business with almost identical publicly stated strategies. Which company will prevail and what will be the factors that make the difference?


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