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By Tom Winnifrith, The Sheriff of AIM | Saturday 9 January 2016
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.
A hat tip to Drunken Sailor for this post which sets in train the question of the Rob Fielding cover up at Quindell (QPP), now Watchstone (WTG).
In a vane attempt to compete with Nigel for his crown of king anorak I note that Watchstone filed an SH01 on 6 Jan for shares issued on 16 Dec ie pre consolidation and presumably post court hearing on 16 Dec and in time to receive the 90p as the record date was 17 Dec.
The SH01 says:
3,909,091 shares were issued for 33p - a very nice instant £2,228,181.87 no risk instant profit for someone there!There is a block listing application RNS dated 8 Dec which says:
The Company announces that an application has been made to the London Stock Exchange plc for the admission to trading on AIM of a block listing of 6,065,341 ordinary shares of 15 pence each in the capital of the Company (“Ordinary Shares”).
These Ordinary Shares are being reserved under a block listing to be issued as a result of the exercise of existing share options pursuant to the Company Share Option Scheme.
It is expected that admission of these Ordinary Shares will become effective on 11 December 2015.
6,065,341 is the number of in the money options that were left after they paid cash of £11.15m to buy out 10,351,436 options (£1.07 per option). 3,909,091 was the number of 33p options the other 2,156,250 were at 68.65p but were not exercised (Jim Sutcliffe and Richard Rose were awarded options at that price).
There has been no RNS saying that the other shares were issued and we do not know who they were issued to. The 2014 Annual report tells us the 33p options were granted on 18 Dec 2014 under the group’s unapproved share option scheme but does not say who got them and I can find no RNS at the time of grant that tells us either.
So how about an RNS now telling us who got that risk free £2.2m windfall at the end of the year as well as an RNS telling us about the law suit.
Were those options issued to disgraced former CEO Rob Fielding - the man who made £2 million as a result of the £30 million deal to buy ACH ( now being closed down) from convicted Nigerian fraudster Andrew O'Dua?
I am aware that the Quindell senior management (acting chairman David Curry) were made aware of this deal by a whistleblower in 2014 but did nothing. Instead Field and his good friend HR manager Mrs Jill Harrison were transferred into Senior posts at Slater & Gordon (SGH) ( although both have since left) and Fielding was allowed to keep all share options which - I am told - he has now cashed in.
Why did Quindell ignore the whistleblower on the O'Dua/Fielding deal? Is this information it should have disclosed to Slater & Gordon? Did it? When the SFO knocks on Fielding's door for whom will it be most embarassing? Fielding? Curry? Watchstone? Or Slater & Gordon?
Of course we revealed the bung to Fielding well before Slater & Gordon (heading to zero) signed off on its hari-kiri transaction with Quenron (HERE) but as we know S&G did full due diligence did it not?
Who knew what & when?
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