Listed legal services provider Quindell has confirmed it is in talks with international firm Slater & Gordon about the transfer of personal injury files.
Quindell made the announcement, entitled ‘press speculation’ to the London Stock Exchange this afternoon.
The company announced on 2 January it was in talks with a buyer about selling a section of the business.
The statement said: ‘Quindell announced it had entered into exclusivity arrangements in respect of the possible disposal of an operating division of the group.
‘The company notes the speculation concerning the identity of the third party and can confirm that Slater & Gordon Limited (S&G) is the party referred to in previous announcements.
‘There can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to an offer for, or the disposal of, an operating division of the group.’
Slater & Gordon, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange, has been relatively quiet since a rush of mergers after it first arrived in the UK with the takeover of Russell Jones & Walker in 2012. The latest merger with Pannone will see the Manchester firm rebranded in March.
The group reported in its annual financial report last year that it had 1,300 employees in the UK, up from 425 when it first arrived in this country.
Quindell has built a significant legal services division through the acquisitions of Abstract Legal Holdings, the parent company of Accident Advice Helpline, personal injury firms The Compensation Lawyers, Silberbeck Rymer and Pinto Potts, and costs firm Compass Costs.
The group suffered a difficult 2014, with a negative report from analyst Gotham City Research, the failure to achieve a premium listing and the resignation of management figures all sending the share price tumbling.
Since the turn of the year, the value has somewhat recovered, and it has been boosted still by the news of the Slater & Gordon interest, with the share price today rising 16.25p to 121.5p – an increase of more than 15%.
On Friday, Slater & Gordon (SGH) updated the Australian stock exchange with confirmation of talks with Quindell.
Its statement said: ‘SGH confirms that, consistent with our previously communicated UK growth strategy, SGH has entered into exclusivity arrangements with Quindell in respect of discussions relating to a possible disposal of an operating division of the Quindell Group. These discussions remain preliminary and incomplete.’
Slater & Gordon said as part of these arrangements, the firm is completing due diligence on a portfolio of Quindell personal injury files with a view to a transfer of files over the coming months. The firm added it has not submitted any offer or proposal beyond the file transfer.