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Bain Capital to take insurer esure private in £1.21 billion deal

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By Reuters
Bain Capital to take insurer esure private in £1.21 billion deal
FILE PHOTO: Logo of Bain Capital is screened at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo   -   Copyright  Kim Kyung Hoon(Reuters)

Insurer esure Group Plc <ESUR.L> has agreed to be bought out by Bain Capital Private Equity for 1.21 billion pounds, the company said on Tuesday.

The insurer said its two biggest shareholders, Chairman Peter Wood and Toscafund, supported the Bain Capital deal. They together own 47.7 percent shares of the company.

“As a private company and with Bain Capital’s backing, esure will be able to invest behind the innovation required to fully realise the opportunities in this market,” Wood said.

Bain Capital has offered 280 pence per share, which represents a 37 percent premium on the stock’s closing level of 204 pence on Friday.

The stock soared more than 30 percent on Monday after the insurer said was in advanced talks over a possible bid from Bain Capital.

The insurer’s independent directors consider the deal fair and reasonable, and intend to recommend unanimously that shareholders vote in favour, it said.

Founded by Wood and Halifax bank as an online insurer back in 2001, esure became an independent company after a management buyout in 2010. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange two years later at 212 pence per share.

Wood has agreed to continue as chairman following the completion of the Bain Capital deal, the company said.

The deal comes after media reports last year that Wood was looking to sell his stake.

Bain Capital does not intend to materially reduce esure’s headcount, restructure or change the location of its headquarters from Reigate, Surrey, the insurer said.

Deutsche Bank advised the insurer on the deal, while Goldman Sachs International, Dean Street and Cenkos were financial advisers to Bain Capital.

The insurer also reported a 20 percent drop in fist-half pre-tax profit, hurt by claims related to a spell of extreme winter weather in the country earlier this year.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)