Esure’s board agrees to £1.2bn takeover

The City of London. The board of Esure has agreed to a �1.2bn takeover. Photo:  Ian West/PA Wire
The City of London. The board of Esure has agreed to a �1.2bn takeover. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
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The board of esure has agreed to a £1.2 billion takeover by private equity outfit Bain Capital, with the insurer’s biggest shareholders coming out in support of the deal.

Esure will recommend Bain’s formal 280p a share offer to investors, which represents a 37% premium to last week’s share price.

The firm’s largest backers, Sir Peter Wood and Toscafund - which hold around 31% and 17% of esure respectively, have given their blessing to the deal.

A total of 75% of shareholders must vote to approve the acquisition, which would see esure taken private and de-listed from the London Stock Exchange.

Sir Peter, the group’s chairman, stands to pocket around £370 million from the sale.

He said: It is a great outcome for shareholders, for the company, and for customers.

“Since its IPO in 2013, esure has grown to nearly 2.5 million in-force policies, delivered more than £800 million of annual gross written premiums, and returned just under £300 million to shareholders in dividends as well as the considerable value delivered to shareholders through the demerger of GoCompare.”

“As a private company and with Bain Capital’s backing, esure will be able to invest behind the innovation required to fully realise the opportunities in this market.”

Sir Peter will continue as chairman following the takeover.

Esure also announced results for the first half of the year, with profits dented to the tune of £14 million by the Beast from the East.

The company reported a pre-tax profit of £36.1 million, down 20% from £45.1 million in the six months to June 30.

Esure blamed the drop on a hit from cold weather in March and flash flooding in May.

Esure said: “The group’s underwriting performance was significantly impacted by the adverse weather events in the first half of the year, notably the ‘Beast from the East’, alongside flash flooding in May.

“The adverse weather events resulted in claims costs in the Home account of £7 million more than expectations in the first half of the year.”

Gross written premiums were up 12% to £440.3 million and in force policies grew 8.5% to 2.45 million.

Esure provides insurance products to more than two million drivers, home-owners, pet owners and holidaymakers across the UK.