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The great multi-year Swinton deal with Quindell ..er it’s all off says Slater & Gordon: more questions for Rob Fielding

By Tom Winnifrith | Monday 27 July 2015


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


Last December I speculated that the biggest insurance partner of the fraud Quindell (QPP), Swinton, was set to cancel its arrangements. On 10th December newly appointed CEO Rob Fielding gave my critics much joy as he announced a new multiyear deal. Oh what a prat Winni is.  The shares surged higher. Oh dear, the deal does not look to be multi-year at all unless 1+ 0 = 2 in the same way that 2+2 can = 5. 

Slater & Gordon, which now owns Quenron’s legal services business, stated that it had terminated the contract with effect from 31 October 2015 and that this would not have a material impact on earnings. So this begs the question of what terms was Quindell offering to get the deal with Swinton in the first place.

The suspicion must be that Quindell was in fact making sod all from the deal but wanted a tie-up with a big name to boost the share price. That was needed to get away equity fund raise after equity fund raise to generate the cash needed to keep the fraud going. PWC has already stated that profits booked by Quindell were not real profits, the fact is that despite panama pumps and other frauds that did generate cash, Quindell PLC was a big cash consumer so needed equity placings to keep the show on the road.

The man who announced the Swinton renewal was Rob Fielding. Mr Fielding now – pro tem – heads up the Quenron business now owned by Slater & Gordon. But given his intimate involvement in various maters being investigated by the SFO and FCA, not least the £2 million bung he picked up when Quindell paid £30 million to buy a worthless business from convicted Nigerian fraudster Andrew O’Dua, one suspects he may be needing to consult head of HR Mrs Jill Harrison about career advice fairly soon.

As for S&G, its shares were A$7.95 post the Quenron deal. They are now A$3.47 and as this unravels and its woeful cash generation becomes apparent they will continue to tank. They remain one of my top 10 sells for summer – see HERE

 

 


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More on QPP


Comments

4 comments


  1. filthylucre

    ‘S funny eh, how you don’t get any replies to Quindell smears, now
    you are on ‘sabbatical leave’?
    I thought sabbatical leave was for academics?
    You really do have a very high opinion of yourself Tom.

  2. Oh filthy, a sabbatical means time off to write a book. That I am doing, albeit not at a great pace. In the old days journalists were allowed them at places like the IC. No great works really resulted.

    I do not claim to be an academic or even academic or – unlike you – a thinker.

    T

    PS Not a smear. A fact. Just like all the other pieces exposing your beloved Quenron as a fraud


  3. Pauly Walnuts

    Well done Filthy for bringing this back to the top of the list of comments. I didn’t get chance to add my thoughts first time around.

    I think the announcement by S&G about Swintons is intriguing to say the least. It stops short of saying which party has terminated the contract. I’m minded to think it more likely to be S&G, seeing as they will have now been working it for just under 2 months, whereas you would think Swintons would have brought any issues up with the terms earlier than now, having signed it in December.

    Is this now the start of ‘the worm turning’ ? Up until now S&G have been at pains to point out at every turn how pleased they are with the Quindell deal and how there’s been no ‘nasty surprises’. One wonders if the make up of this contract, and its termination by S&G is the first such surprise. And if it is, will they then be scrutinising all other contracts to look for comparisons with whatever it is they don’t like about the deal with Swintons.

    The fascinating thing to observe from the sidelines here is that S&G may only have a window of 5 months or so to go back to QPP for any claims above the £50m in escrow. QPP could well have ponied the funds out to their shareholders by that time which would be grim news for S&G.

    One has to think that S&G are asking themselves some very deep soul searching questions right now. Do they swallow their pride and admit their due diligence was not up to scratch and go after QPP’s cashpile, which will make the S&G BOD look like chumps. Or do they sit on their hands and run the risk of QPP distributing the cash. If they had their shareholders interests at heart they’d go for the former. Time will tell.


  4. filthylucre

    Tom

    Sorry to hear that you do not claim to be a thinker. That explains a lot.


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