Shares in what is left of Quindell — the former technology, garage, solar panel installation, law firm and physiotherapy conglomerate — were suspended on Wednesday morning, as the company announced an investigation…
on 23 June 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority informed the Company that it has commenced an investigation under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in relation to public statements made regarding the financial accounts of the Company during 2013 and 2014. The Company will co-operate fully with the investigation.
The company also provided an update on the review of its accounting practices, and promised further detail on some related party transactions: Read more
The end of June approaches and with it the deadline for Quindell, the unsold rump of businesses loosely related to insurance claims processing, to publish accounts for 2014. The London Stock Exchange, which oversees London’s junior market, suspends trading in Aim-listed companies which do not publish financial statements.
An annual general meeting should follow. One topic investors might want to discuss: Quindell spent more than £200m to buy two companies, Himex and Ingenie, from longtime associates of the since departed founder and executive chairman, Robert Terry. Those companies are now considered worthless by the stock market. Read more
In 1935 Bill Slater and Hugh Gordon started a Melbourne law firm to serve local union members. Eighty years later the impetus is broadly the same, to offer decent legal services at an affordable price, but the ambition has changed. If regulators approve the takeover of Quindell professional services, Slater & Gordon will, by some distance, be the largest personal injury law group in both the UK and Australia.
When Andrew Grech took over as managing director in 2000 Slater & Gordon was still a partnership. It incorporated the following year, then listed in 2007, and he has bought more than 50 law firms to get to this point. “We’re not megalomaniacs; none of us set out to become bigger for its own purpose”, he told FT Alphaville. Rather, size is a means to offer specialist legal services to the greatest number of of clients at a reasonable price.
Still, industry roll-ups come with risks, the company is the only listed law group of size and legal accounting can be opaque. One way to assess the success of all the consolidation is to ask a question: what would happen if Slater & Gordon stopped buying law firms? Read more
Another Quindell correction, this time to Monday’s announcement of a deal to sell nine-tenths of the company to Slater & Gordon, the Australian law group.
It comes after shares were suspended for more than five hours on Wednesday, provides partial answers to one of the outstanding questions — where had the rest of Quindell’s business gone? — while raising others about the nature of its operations, financial statements and previous announcements. From the RNS:
The Board has noted that there was a failure to fully transcribe profits related to entities forming part of the Disposal as disclosed in the Circular (predominantly in respect of iSaaS Technology Limited and Intelligent Claims Management Limited, entities previously included within the Company’s “Digital Solutions” division in historic financial information).
Quindell shareholders will soon be asked to approve the sale of substantially all of the company to Slater & Gordon, the Australian listed law group. The sale was agreed after S&G was granted the exclusive right to negotiate and conduct due diligence on the UK ambulance chasing law firm. Quindell is also strapped for cash and the list of alternative bidders seems small to non-existent.
Yet there remains a pertinent question: do Quindell shareholders have enough information to approve the sale?
PWC has conducted a review of Quindell’s accounting, one likely to lead to restatement of revenues and profits in recent years. S&G have seen the accountant’s work, yet shareholders have not. The review is price sensitive information – is it fair disclosure for the buyer to have seen it, but the selling investors to have been kept in the dark? Read more
Congratulations! Assuming Quindell shareholders give it the nod and UK financial and legal regulators approve, the Australian-listed law group Slater & Gordon will soon be the proud owner of Quindell’s professional services division.
What are you buying? The UK’s largest ambulance chasing law firm, for one, but rather more than that. We don’t have the answers, but here are the questions to ask about the deal, as well as the ongoing peculiarities of legal accounting.
First up: what is Quindell Professional Services? Read more
Quindell plc (AIM: QPP.L) announces that it has today entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement to dispose of the Professional Services Division (“PSD”) to Slater and Gordon Limited (“SGH”) for an initial cash consideration of £637 million and further contingent cash consideration payable in respect of the future settlement of its clients’ noise induced hearing loss (“NIHL”) cases (“Disposal”).
Quindell’s law firm is to be sold to Slater & Gordon, the Australian listed law group, and shareholders will get half a billion returned to them in cash in the second half of 2015.
More disposals to come, restatement of past accounts likely, and a new chief executive is needed again, while the chief lingering question is what remains. Read more
The latest update from Quindell lands. Contrary to rumors circulating, the company is not talking to Australian law group Slater & Gordon about a takeover of the whole business, just the professional services division where the UK ambulance chasing law firm resides.
Meanwhile, an ongoing review of the books by accounting firm PWC continues, and has taken longer than expected due to “the high level of corporate activity” which went into the formation of a jumble of businesses loosely connected to insurance. Also:
Advice in relation to the Company’s main accounting policies (in particular revenue recognition in the Professional Services Division) is being further considered and no conclusions have been reached.
An update lands from Quindell regarding discussions with Slater & Gordon, the Australian listed law group.
Further to its announcement of 22 January 2015, Quindell Plc (AIM: QPP.L) notes the further press speculation and announces that it has extended Slater & Gordon Limited’s (“SGH”) exclusivity period relating to the possible disposal of the professional services division (“PSD”) of the Group to 31 March 2015. Discussions are progressing with SGH and the indicative terms being discussed would imply a significant premium to the Company’s market capitalisation at the close of trading on 20 February 2015. There can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to an offer for, or the disposal of, the PSD. Further announcements will be made, as appropriate, in due course.
Dear shareholder, no promises, but our stock could be worth more than the short-seller battered share price suggests… Read more
Quindell, an unusual collection of loosely related insurance, technological and legal businesses piled on top of a golf club by Robert Terry, can confound attempts to understand it. There is, however, one simple question which gets right to the heart of what has been going on.
What were the cash balances at Ingenie, the associate company it acquired last year?
As we’ll explain, there aren’t clear good answers to this question, just least bad ones. It is something for PWC and the company’s bankers to ask, because the answers should help show whether management of what was once the largest company on London’s junior market, AIM, was disingenuous, profligate, or something worse. Read more
Further to the announcement by Quindell that it has appointed two new executives in return for a bucket full of options and a corporate consulting gig, another statement follows with full terms of the grant to incoming and current executives.
Details after the jump, but the headline is 12.9 per cent of the company will potentially be handed to senior executives in return for keeping it afloat. Read more
Quindell, the description-defying collapsed stock promotion acquisition roll-up machine whose stake-selling founder lurks as a well remunerated consultant, has a new non-executive chairman, Richard Rose.
The former credit hire executive will be joined by Jim Sutcliffe as Strategy Director and Deputy Chairman, pending approval by the Solicitors Regulation Authority — the two have been tempted by £16m worth of short dated options.
The pair have a package which suggests a kill or cure approach is in prospect for a business which has struggled to generate cash flow, with those options vesting in stages over the next 12 months. Long term incentives and all that. Read more