Former Claims Direct chief executive Colin Poole looks set to sell the company for 10p per share - exactly the same price he paid to take control of the company on Monday.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Poole revealed he was now in negotiations with the owner of Claimline, Simon Ware-Lane, to pass on the company for 10p a share. Claimline is a smaller rival of Claims Direct.

Last month, Poole and co-founder Tony Sullman offered to buy the personal injury firm as shares plummeted from last year's high of 353p to 8p. Claims Direct's four independent directors initially described the bid as "deeply cynical" and "opportunistic".

On Monday, shareholders voted in favour of the offer and Poole and Sullman increased their stake in the company from 42.8% to 55.6% for 10p a share.

But the pair were secretly hatching plans to sell Claims Direct on to Ware-Lane, who owns 4.5% of the firm. Under regulatory rules, Ware-Lane needed to purchase the whole organisation to gain control.

"He would have had to make a bid for the entire company and we are trying to work with the takeover panel for him to achieve it," said Poole. "We are continuing discussions with him. They are quite involved and there is a lot of talk over regulations. It could be some weeks before there is a solution."

Poole, who made his offer through Barker Securities, also confirmed he and Sullman would resign when Ware-Lane bought the company.

"We will sell our shares and resign from the board," he said.

"I would like to stay with Claims Direct and move it forward, but Ware-Lane's plans for the company may be more beneficial. He has indicated that, because of adverse media, it would be difficult to continue with us in the business."

Under the current proposals, Ware-Lane will buy the duo's shares and then install his own management team alongside existing staff. He has outlined plans to keep Claims Direct as a quoted company on the stock market.

Should the proposal fall through, Poole said he would personally try to return the firm to profitability through new initiatives.

"We need to kick-start away from purely personal injury business," he explained. "You can liken us to a supermarket with only one kind of product on the shelf."

Poole said he would look to branch out from personal injury into a number of areas, including wills, conveyancing and employment. Pricing may also become "tiered", based on the type of claims and Poole would look to review the marketing strategy and possibly cut back on television advertising.

Commenting on redundancies, he said: "We hope there will not be any but, at the end of the day, we have got to try to make sure the company moves towards profitability and review our overheads.

"One would hope this is done through normal attrition, but it would be wrong to rule anything out."