Battered Quindell set to cut back to the core

Sources indicate that up to eight divisions could be considered for sale

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The Independent Online

The embattled insurance outsourcer Quindell could sell off multiple parts of the business in an effort to repair its battered reputation in the City.

Its new chairman, Richard Rose, and his deputy Jim Sutcliffe have recommended streamlining the business down to just two divisions, as part of a strategic review.  As a result, Quindell will consider selling off or splitting out “several businesses and assets that are non-core”, the company said yesterday. Sources indicate that up to eight divisions could be considered for sale.

The shake-up would leave Quindell with just its professional services arm, which processes legal claims on behalf of insurers, and its technology division, which provides insurance software and “black boxes” that monitor driving ability.

However, the Australian law firm Slater & Gordon is currently in talks about the possibility of acquiring part or all of its professional services division, which would mean even further streamlining.

The strategic review, which is still continuing, follows a disastrous year for Quindell in which 90 per cent of its value was wiped out after a series of scandals, culminating in a controversial share-dealing arrangement that forced out the founder and chief executive Rob Terry in November.  City veterans Mr Rose and Mr Sutcliffe were drafted in last month to lead a turnaround, and the accountancy firm PwC has been reviewing Quindell’s books with a focus on how the company processes revenue for noise-induced hearing-loss cases, a growing part of its business.

Both reviews were expected to have been concluded by now, but Quindell said yesterday that they were taking longer due to “the high level of corporate activity”.

Quindell shares fell 6 per cent to 92.75p.