Quindell confirmed today that it is considering a deal with Slater & Gordon that would see the listed Australian firm buy its legal division for £640m plus receipts from the settlement of noise-induced hearing loss cases.
Responding to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Times, the AIM-listed alternative business structure told the London Stock Exchange this morning that this was one of “a number of deal structures have been discussed” with Slater & Gordon.
“However, there can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to any offer, or the disposal of, the [professional services division]. Further announcements will be made, as appropriate, in due course,” the statement said.
The newspaper reported “City sources” as saying Quindell’s board was on the verge of recommending the offer of £640m cash plus 50% of receipts from noise-induced hearing loss cases.
It said the receipts are expected to pay Quindell between £100m and £300m over the next three years. “Slater & Gordon is understood to have completed due diligence on Quindell and both companies could announce a deal by March 23, when the Australian group’s ‘exclusivity’ agreement runs out.”
Quindell’s shares closed on Monday up 22% at 121.75p in what continues to be rollercoaster ride for shareholders.
In a brief statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, where it is listed, Slater & Gordon said: “Slater & Gordon notes that discussions and due diligence, which commenced in December 2014, are ongoing. No offer has yet been put to Quindell and there is no certainty that an offer will be put, or that a transaction will eventuate.”
Meanwhile, a report in The Independent today claims that business secretary Vince Cable, treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie and other MPs – most notably Peter Hain – are putting pressure on the Financial Conduct Authority to explain its response the short-selling attack on Quindell’s shares last April, which began a deeply damaging downward spiral for the company.