Esure confirms London float

INSURER Esure today fired the starting gun on its main market IPO as it announced plans to list up to half of its shares in London next month.

The float is understood to value the company at around £1bn.

The offer will comprise £50m of new equity, as well as the partial sale of existing shares held by current shareholders, including founder Peter Wood and private equity house Tosca Penta.

Esure, which also owns the Sheila’s Wheels brand, is expected to have a free float of between 35 and 50 per cent on admission, which is expected to raise in the region of around £500m.

Proceeds from the offer will be used to pay down debt, as well as accelerate future growth.

"An IPO is a natural next step for a business of esure's scale and prospects," chairman Wood said today.

Separately, Esure announced a 110 per cent jump in pre-tax profit last year to £115.5m.