The chairman and founder of listed legal services provider Quindell resigned this morning in a bid to stem the freefalling share price of the company.
Rob Terry, who was Quindell's chairman, resigned from the board of directors with immediate effect, although he will be retained on a consultancy basis.
Terry was one of three directors who earlier this month bought extra shares in the company, saying they thought it under-valued. The company last week announced a correction to that announcement, and since that time the value of shares has more than halved. Yesterday the share price closed 18% down on the day at 57p per share. It traded at around 140p in October.
Terry said: ’I entered into the share transactions announced on 5 November 2014, with the best of intentions for the company and all shareholders and it would have been my intention to acquire more shares were it not for the restrictions due to the discussions leading to this announcement. I am clearly disappointed and sorry that events turned out as they did.’
Terry added he would expect to give up his opportunity to buy a further 8.85 million shares as part of the transaction agreement.
'This will draw a line under this agreement and I have no intention of making further use of this agreement or its like again.’
David Currie will become non-executive interim chairman of the company with immediate effect and a process has begun to find a new chairman.
Laurence Moorse, group finance director, has agreed with the company that, following the 2015 annual general meeting of the company, he will step down from the board. Moorse has agreed to remain with the company thereafter for a period of up to twelve months in order to effect an orderly handover.
Steve Scott, a non-executive director of Quindell, has agreed with the company that he will step down from the board with immediate effect.
The statement said the board 'remains confident’ in the future prospects of the business.
Currie added: 'Rob is the founder of the business and has made a huge contribution to Quindell’s growth to date and the Board thanks him for that. We look forward to completing our search for a new Chairman and additional non-executive directors as soon as possible.’
Analyst Guy Shone of Explain the Market said: 'Quindell has suffered a rollercoaster of volatility over the last year. The firm is now looking for new ways to inject fresh capital while a continued lack of certainty is fuelling market nervousness.
‘Share-price fluctuation is not always a reliable indication of impending doom and short term scares rarely frighten off serious long-term investors. However, Quindell badly need to provide real clarity – some form of realistic medium-term plan to stabilise the course and give confidence in the future prospects of the company itself not just the share price.
‘Injections of capital and a range of possible quick fixes may well be fine and useful – but it is the longer-term strategy for customers, colleagues and technology where more clarity is needed.’
Quindell has claimed to be the largest public company law firm in the world and has embarked on a spree of law firm acquisitions since securing an alternative business structure licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority almost two years ago.