Esure founder Peter Wood pockets £198m in IPO

The man who founded both Direct Line and Esure insurance companies has taken home almost £200m after the latter floated on the stock market at a valuation of £1.3bn.

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

Not bad for a Friday afternoon, right? Esure, the insurer which owns the Sheila’s Wheels brand, managed to net £604m for a 50% stake which was put up for public trading for the first time today. 

The IPO means that the firm is worth around £1.2bn – putting it firmly in the FTSE 250 – and Wood remains the single largest shareholder with a 31% stake, down from 49% before the float.

Wood founded Esure in 2000, backed by the HBOS banking group, and then when Lloyds rescued HBOS back in 2009, it inherited Esure, and then Lloyds sold a 70% stake to Peter Wood and Tosca Investments for £185m back in 2010. 

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

He doesn't sound very excited for a man who's just made £198m, does he? 

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