Sir Peter Wood to flog chunk of Gocompare stock to pursue property investment interests

 
Oliver Gill
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Sir Peter Wood (not pictured) currently owns over 30 per cent of Gocompare

Sir Peter Wood, the insurance tycoon founder of Direct Line and Esure, today revealed plans to dump a multi-million slug of Gocompare shares on the market in order to fund his London and US property interests.

In an after-market announcement, Wood said he will place 21.3m shares on the market.

With Gocompare's stock trading at 104.5p, Wood may net more than £22m to "diversify his investment portfolio" and "finance his significant residential property investments in London and the United States".

Once sold, Wood will retain a shareholding of more than 25 per cent in the price comparison website that was spun off from Esure in 2016.

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

The sale follows reports in September that Wood had opened informal discussions with a number of potential suitors over his shareholding in Esure.

Worth approaching £700m, 71-year-old Wood founded Direct Line in 1985 and Esure in 2000. He was the group chief executive between 2006 and 2012 and is also the chair of Gocompare.

The price comparison sector has been the subject of regulatory scrutiny in recent weeks.

At the end of last month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an investigation into rival Comparethemarket and allegations of unfairly priced home insurance deals.

Read more: Gocompare shares rise after revealing profit jump

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