Claims Direct's former chief executive Colin Poole and founder Tony Sullman are planning to take the stock market listed company private.

The move came as Claims Direct reported a 65% increase in turnover to £65.9m for the year ending March, 2001, and turned last year's £11.7m loss into a profit of £6.8m.

However, the company still reported a £20.2m loss before tax, resulting from exceptional items including paying its Lloyd's insurers £16.5m for new underwriting capacity.

Sullman and Poole, who between them own 42.9% of Claims Direct's shares, have made an approach to the company's board which may or may not lead to them buying the remaining share capital.

Their approach indicted buying the outstanding shares at 10p each, placing a £20m value on the company.

This is less than its flotation share price of 180p last July, and its current share price of 13p.

Both men have relinquished roles in the management of the company, allowing the board to consider other offers, expected following publication of an offer document.