Insurance giant Zurich has sold student-focused Endsleigh to A-Plan, a distributor of motor and household insurance policies.
The sale of Endsleigh to private equity-backed A-Plan comes as a number of insurance companies have been shedding weight over the past year. Zurich itself sold its £15bn workplace pension arm to Scottish Widows in October, while Aviva sold loss-making Friends Provident in the summer and a chunk of its Spanish holdings in May.
Endsleigh itself has not produced the most impressive numbers recently. In its most recent accounts, for 2016, it made a loss of £614,000 on turnover which fell 16 per cent to £47m, as the company blamed increased competition and regulation.
But Zurich's UK chief executive Tulsi Naidu said: "Over the last year Endsleigh has done an excellent job of transforming its business and tackling the challenges our industry presents, and now is the right time for it to move into new ownership."
She added that the sale was demonstrating how Zurich is "continuing to simplify our organisation and optimise our portfolio".
Endsleigh, which was established in 1965 by the National Union of Students (NUS), will continue with its existing management team from its base in Cheltenham. It is part-way through a "transformation plan", involving significant investment in IT, which it believes should boost growth.
"Our customers, our people, NUS, insurer partners and other partners we work with can be confident that we remain committed to our transformation programme, to looking after our customers and delivering growth in our core markets," said Endsleigh's chief executive, Jeff Brinley.
A-Plan, which offers policies ranging from motor to home and contents insurance, was acquired by private equity firm HgCapital in 2015 for £300m. It has more than 85 high street branches and serves more than 675,000 policies.