Esure float values insurer at £1.2bn

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Insurance group Esure made its stock market debut today, with shares priced at 290p each – at the upper end of its original range of 240p to 310p a share.

The company, founded by chairman Peter Wood, is selling a 50 per cent stake through the initial public offering (IPO), which values it at £1.2 billion.

It also plans to raise about £50 million through the sale of new shares to clear its debt.

Wood, who also founded insurance firm Direct Line, remains Esure’s largest shareholder with a stake of 30.9 per cent.

The flotation has netted Wood, along with fellow shareholder Tosca Penta Investments and members of the management team, £554m between them.

Wood said: “Today’s pricing is a ringing endorsement of Esure’s strengths and future prospects and we welcome all of our new shareholders, both institutional and retail, as co-investors in the next exciting phase of our development.

“As a premium listed company, Esure will have the right corporate platform for development, and it is our task to maximise the opportunities that we see ahead of us for the mutual benefit of all our shareholders.”