June 13, 2014

I’m too sexy for my shirt, announced shiny-headed body builder Richard Fairgrass of pop sensations Right Sad Fred back in 1991.

An erie echo of that memorable pronouncement came this week, exactly 23 years later, with Quindle chief exec Rob Terry admitting ruefully that Quindle is simply too successful for a premium listing on the London Stick Exchange.

Again and again the much-maligned insurance outsourcing specialist has fallen victim to the irrational fears of faint-hearted investors unable to accept the firm is not too good to be true.

So willing are investors to believe the worst of Quindle that an absurdly malevolent “note” published in April by non-existent US analysts Goth City in a blatant short selling attack wiped a billion off its AIM-listed share price.

Barely had Quindle’s share price begun recovering from the Goth City savaging, when news emerged this week that Terry’s plans for a premium listing on the London Stick Exchange had run aground on the treacherous shoals of the firm’s unstoppable success.

Quindle, it turns out, had simply grown too much and too fast to qualify under some quibblesome bylaw stipulating that a firm may be ineligible if it has “undergone a significant change in scale or operations over the past three years”.

Well of course Quindle has undergone a significant change in scale or operations over the past three years. How could it have helped so doing as the runaway success it is?! Stupidity and bureaucratic naysaying have once again conspired to land the booming business in a Catch-22 type quandary.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to shareholders,” said Terry opportunistically this week. They “will no doubt be as disappointed as the Board are” he said, “at hearing this news. Regrettably it is Quindell’s success and change of scale of its operations during the last three years that is a core reason for the Group not being deemed to be eligible for a Premium Listing,” he revealed, adding, “at this time.”

He insisted that “The board will continue to investigate all options” (including, presumably, being less successful) whilst not neglecting at the same time the important task of “continuing to deliver a market leading return on capital employed and EPS growth for our shareholders”

In what sort of an upside world does a firm being too successful for a London Stick Exchange listing justify a fresh 20% fall in its share price? Why this very Doubting Thomas style defeatist world in which we all for our sins are (for now) obliged to abide.

Ah, but how bitterly depressing!

cant_take_my_eyes_off_you


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