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Waiting game for Claims Direct

The two founders have ruled out increasing their bid to buy the beleagured company.

The two founders of UK personal injury claims specialist Claims Direct have announced that they do not intend to increase their 10p a share bid for the company.

Colin Poole and Tony Sullman already own 42.8 per cent of Claims Direct and the £11.1m offer for the balance of the company's shares, made through bid vehicle Barker Securities, was set to close on Monday this week. It was revealed yesterday that Barker had received acceptances from just 0.1 per cent of shareholders [270,703 shares] and that the closing date for the offer was being extended for another 14 days.

The independent directors of Claims Direct [Sullman and Poole are non-execs] advised shareholders to take no action in response to the bid, not least as the company is anxiously awaiting a High Court ruling relating to the recoverability of premiums from such firms as Claims Direct. The case Callery v Gray is seen as a landmark action that will determine whether 'ambulance-chasing' claims firms have unlawfully deducted their fees from settlement payments.

Claims Direct predicted today that the High Court judgement – expected to be announced today also – will be 'lengthy and complex'. In the meantime Claims Direct's share price has dropped from a high of 353.5p to 12.25p at close yesterday.