Listed legal services provider Quindell today announced that a £640m sale to Australian firm Slater and Gordon is being considered by both parties.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange today, the company said it had noted a Sunday Times article yesterday that said a deal to transfer its professional services division was close.
Quindell said ‘a number’ of deal structures had been discussed with Slater and Gordon since exclusive discussions started in December 2014.
These structures include one ‘with an up-front value of £640m and a share of receipts from settlement of noise-induced hearing-loss claims’.
The statement added there is no certainty these discussions will lead to any offer, or the disposal of the division. The announcement led to an immediate bounce in the share price, which increased by almost 25% by midday to 124p per share.
The two parties have an exclusivity agreement which lasts until the end of this month.
The announcement was followed overnight by a statement from Slater and Gordon which merely noted the Quindell statement and that discussion and due diligence are 'ongoing'.
The statement added: '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, business secretary Vince Cable (pictured) has reportedly written to the Financial Conduct Authority to ask for more information into the collapse of Quindell’s share price last April.
The company lost around £1bn from its value after the share price nosedived and a potential legal challenge on behalf of shareholders was announced by Birkenhead firm Your Legal Friend in December.
Cable, along with House of Commons treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie, said allegations raised by a constituent were ‘deeply worrying’ and he called on the FCA to look further into what caused the collapse.
An FCA spokesman told the Gazette: ‘We take all allegations of market abuse and manipulation very seriously.
‘Every allegation notified to us is reviewed by our market-monitoring department. However, we do not comment on individual cases.’