Quindell share prices rises as regulators give Slater & Gordon disposal the nod

 
Emma Haslett
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The insurance claims processor announced a deal to sell its professional services division last month (Source: Getty)

Quindell shares opened 2.7 per cent higher at 132p this morning after it revealed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had given its plans to sell its law arm the thumbs up.

The company announced plans to sell its professional services division, which accounts for 90 per cent of its business, to Slater & Gordon in March. Today it said that following the FCA's approvals, the disposal is now unconditional.

Most of the proceeds from the sale will be given back to shareholders: Quindell intends to use the cash it raises to fund a "substantial" return of up to £500m in the second half of the year. Not surprisingly, in April shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal, with 99.1 per cent giving it their approval.

The disposal hasn't been without its own drama: at the beginning of last month Quindell briefly suspended trading in its shares on Aim, before admitting it had understated the amount the division contributed to the company, to the tune of £13.5m.

Later that month, former chairman Rob Terry published a blog suggesting the deal undervalued Quindell.

However, today's approval is good news for the insurance claims processor after a torrid year. Terry stepped down in November after shares in the company fell more than 90 per cent in eight months. In April, the company was accused of having "magical... paper profits" by mysterious short-seller Gotham City Research last year. The allegations caused shares to plummet, ending the year at 42p, less than a tenth of the 520p peak it hit in April.

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