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Admiral Group exits the price comparisons market

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Admiral Group PLC (LON:ADM) has sold its confused.com price comparison web site to ZPG, the company behind Uswitch and Zoopla.

The FTSE 100 company has reached an agreement with ZPG Comparison Services Holdings whereby RVU, the price comparison division of ZPG, will purchase Penguin Portals Group (comprising online comparison portals Confused.com, Rastreator.com and LeLynx.fr and Admiral’s technology operation, Admiral Technologies) and its 50% share of Preminen Price Comparison Holdings Limited.

The Spanish insurance firm MAPFRE is also selling up, offloading its 25% holding in Rastreator and 50% holding in Preminen as part of the transaction.

The total transaction value, including the amount attributable to MAPFRE, is £508mln cash plus a further amount that will accrue until the date of completion of the proposed transaction.

The proceeds to Admiral, net of minority interests and transaction costs, will be around £450mln.

Admiral expects to return a majority of the net proceeds to shareholders, though will retain a portion to support investment in new business development over the coming years.

“The purchase of the UK and European comparison businesses by RVU offers a positive outcome for our customers and our employees, and also provides good value for our shareholders,” said David Stevens, the group chief executive officer of Admiral.

“The combination of Penguin’s strengths, notably in insurance comparison across much of Europe, with RVU’s strengths beyond insurance and experience in growth through acquisition, provides a solid foundation for the combined businesses to grow and prosper.

“Admiral will continue to focus on what Admiral has consistently done well, namely designing and underwriting good value mass-market financial service products. Comparison will continue to be Admiral’s most important distribution channel in Europe and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Confused.com, Rastreator and LeLynx as they continue to grow and strengthen the customer offering,” he added.

Shares in Admiral were up 3.1% at 3,012p in morning trading.

 

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