Claims Direct investors urged to take 10p offer

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The Independent Online

Claims Direct's independent directors yesterday advised investors in the ailing personal injury company to take the 10p offer for their shares made by the company's founders, rather than backing a new deal which emerged earlier this week.

Colin Poole and Tony Sullman made the 10p-a-share offer in June but on Wednesday announced they were changing track and selling out of the company at a higher price to the entrepreneur Simon Ware-Lane.

Paul Doona and David Gravell, the only remaining directors of Claims Direct, yesterday poured cold water on the latest deal. They argued that it could leave shareholders in a worse position than if they sold to Mr Sullman and Mr Poole because the founders could continue to exert an influence over the company, making its future even more uncertain.

Mr Sullman and Mr Poole resigned from the board this week and have agreed in principle to sell all of their stake in Claims Direct, which stands at 69 per cent.

But they will have a chance to buy back their shares from Mr Ware-Lane for a nominal sum if the share price of the company remains below 16p for the next 18 months. Yesterday Claims Direct's shares fell 13 per cent to close at 11.75p.