Thursday 25 September 2014 9:07 pm

£430m sale by Direct Line to boost investors

INSURANCE group Direct Line announced yesterday it had agreed to sell its international division to major Spanish insurance firm Mapfre for €550m (£430.5m) FTSE 100-listed Direct Line said the sale of its international division, comprising its German and Italian businesses, would lead to a pre-tax gain of around £160m from the sale. Direct Line said that it expected to return all of the net proceeds from the sale to its shareholders. Paul Geddes, Direct Line Group chief executive, said: “We believe that the sale of our international businesses to Mapfre is a good result for all of our stakeholders.” Direct Line was founded in 1985, and initially focused only on car insurance sales by phone.