Ex-Quindell boss's stake building leaves tech minnow in the dark

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The Independent Online

The chairman of Imaginatik has questioned the motives of the former Quindell boss Rob Terry, who has built a sizeable stake in the AIM-listed tech minnow.

Matt Cooper, who founded and owns 27 per cent of Imaginatik, described the controversial businessman’s 14 per cent stake as “a mystery”.

He told the annual meeting that Mr Terry had not approached management about buying shares. Only when the stock soared from 3p to 5p in a day did they realise he had done so on-market.

Mr Cooper said: “If I wanted to own 20 per cent of Imaginatik I would probably approach the company and say, ‘Hey, you guys are worth 3p. Why don’t you issue shares at 3p?’ rather than bidding up my own price and continuing to buy – that seems odd.

“If I’m Rob Terry and have ulterior motives – I want to use this as a shell, take it over or do whatever with it – I don’t pick this company because it’s got a chairman who owns 27 per cent, it’s tightly held and those people who own it have proven to be deeply supportive.”

Imaginatik, whose technology and consultancy services are used by the likes of Nike and Caterpillar, saw its share price almost treble in June after Mr Terry’s stake in the business became public. He has continued to buy shares in Imaginatik, which has a market value of just over £5m, through his investment vehicle Quob Park Estate.

Mr Cooper said his only contact with Mr Terry was a “mostly uneventful” 45-minute meeting in which Mr Terry explained that he believed there were a number of companies on AIM that were undervalued and claimed Imaginatik was one of them.

Mr Cooper said: “He expressed no particular desire to take the company or to influence the company’s strategy in any direction. And that was that, and I haven’t heard from him since.

“We don’t really have a relationship with Rob Terry despite the suggestions in his tweets that we do.”

Mr Cooper queried the tweets and blog comments from Quob Park Estate, which has been talking up the stock’s prospects and giving price targets as much as three times higher than Imaginatik’s current share price.

He also said the open letter Quob Park had promised on Twitter to send to the Imaginatik board in August, outlining its investment strategy, never arrived. He added: “What seems clear is that there’s no rule against posting whatever you want [online] and letting that manipulate share prices in whatever way it does. It seems weird.”

Quindell, which Mr Terry left last November, is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for its accounting practices under  his leadership. A decade earlier, Mr Terry was ousted from the insurance claims processor Innovation Group amid questions over its accounting practices.

Imaginatik’s European headquarters are on the fringes of a golf course in Fareham, Hampshire, less than five miles from the head offices of Quindell, Innovation Group and Quob Park.

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