Belfast Telegraph

Bain revs up with £1.2bn bid for esure

If a deal was to be struck, it would see the insurance firm taken private.

Shares in esure took off on Monday after the insurer said it is in advanced discussions over a £1.2 billion takeover by private equity firm Bain Capital.

The insurance firm said in a stock market announcement that Bain is offering 280p per share, a 37% premium on the closing share price of 204 pence on August 10.

The board of esure has indicated to Bain Capital that it would be “minded to recommend” a firm offer.

If a deal was to be struck, it would see the firm taken private.

Shares in esure rocketed nearly 30% to 263p following the announcement.

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“The board of esure notes the recent movement in its share price and confirms that, having received an unsolicited proposal from Bain Capital private equity, it is in the advanced stages of discussing a possible offer for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of the company by Bain,” esure said.

Under UK takeover rules, Bain now has until September 10 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away.

Esure has had a patchy 2018.

In January, the firm parted company with boss Stuart Vann, triggering a search for a new chief executive.

The group said it would end his tenure with immediate effect and recruit a chief executive fit for an “increasingly digital and data-driven world”.

The move saw chief finance officer Darren Ogden become interim chief executive until a permanent replacement is found.

Also this year, esure laid bare the cost of the Beast from the East, with the insurer taking an £8 million hit linked to the freak weather in March.

In a first-quarter trading update, the group said it saw claims costs in its home division rocket £6 million ahead of forecasts to £8 million.

This, Esure said, was linked to the Siberian chill that descended on Britain, as well as Storm Emma.

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

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