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£95m deal seals ownership

Esure takes full control of price site GoCompare

GoCompareInsurance company Esure is to complete total ownership of the price comparison website GoCompare by acquiring the remaining 50% for £95 million.

The deal will value GoCompare – famous for its adverts featuring an irritating operatic singer – at £190m.

The company’s founder Hayley Parsons, who set up the business in 2006, will leave the business and Jon Morrell, currently deputy chief operating officer of the E-sure group, will be appointed GoCompare chief executive.

Parsons sold the initial 50% to ESure in 2010 for just £2.7m, and today’s price for the remainder reflects the rapid growth it has achieved.

In 2013 it reported pre-tax profit of £25m on revenue of £110m and generated £25m of net operating cash inflows. At the 31 December 2013, it had gross assets of £50m.

Esure chairman Peter Wood said it was “another positive milestone” for the group. “GoCompare has always been an exciting business and it has developed strongly following our original investment into one of the UK’s leading financial services brands. This move lays the ground for further development of GoCompare as part of the group’s strategy of diversifying income streams.”

Stuart Vann, chief executive of Esure, said the businesses will continue to run independently.

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