Esure sale rumours send insurer's share price flying up six per cent

William Turvill
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Sir Peter Wood has reportedly approached rivals in recent months

Shares in insurance company Esure jumped six per cent today after reports suggested its founder was seeking a buyer for his controlling stake.

It was reported over the weekend that multi-millionaire founder Sir Peter Wood has opened informal discussions with a number of potential suitors.

Rival insurance bosses told the Sunday Times that Wood had been in touch to gauge their interest in recent months.

The sale of Wood’s 30.7 per cent stake would trigger a takeover bid for the whole company. Under stock market rules, the sale of a stake over 29.9 per cent means the buyer must make an offer to buy remaining shares.

Other large shareholders in Esure include hedge fund Toscafund and asset manager Fidelity.

The company’s shares bounced up six per cent to 278.5p yesterday following the report.

Esure has so far declined to comment on the report.

Wood founded Direct Line in 1985 and Esure in 2000.

Read more: Esure insurance tycoon kicks off sale talks with rivals

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