Barker Securities wins control of Claims Direct

Nearly 13% of shareholders accepted the offer by Barker Securities – the company formed by Sullman and Poole to bid for Claims Direct – of 10p per share, which, combined with Barker’s own holding of 42.8%, represents more than 55% of valid acceptances for shareholders.

The deal was brokered by KPMG corporate finance and follows Friday’s written appeal by independent directors at Claims Direct to shareholders, reluctantly urging them to accept the offer from Barker Securities.

But their reign at the helm of Claims Direct could be short-lived.

Barker Securities has now announced it is in ‘complex’ talks with Simon Ware-Lane, an investor with a 4.5% share holding in Claims Direct and a stake in unquoted rival Claims Line.

If negotiations are successful, both Sullman and Poole could sell their stakes in the company and resign from the board of Claims Direct. Ware-Lane has indicated that he will maintain Claims Direct’s UK listing.

One analyst told Sky News, a reason for the talks with Ware-Lane might be because Sullman and Poole might be ‘cold shouldered’ in the City should they stay with the company.

Both founders resigned from Claims Direct in January, following negative press reports and two profit warnings.

Since then the share price has fallen from 180p a share to just 9.5p. In June it announced full year losses of £20m, compared with profits of £10m the previous year.


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