Insurance giant Admiral has agreed to sell its comparison website business which includes Confused.com to the owner of rival Uswitch in a deal worth around £508 million.
It told investors on Tuesday that it has agreed to sell the Penguin Portals arm, which also includes Rastreator.com, LeLynx.fr, the group’s technology operation and its 50% share in Preminen Price Comparison Holding to ZPG (Zoopla Property Group).
ZPG has said it will control the acquired businesses through its comparison site division, RVU.
Spanish insurance giant MAPFRE said it will also sell its stake in Rastreator.com and Preminen as part of the deal.
The total deal will be worth £508 million, although Admiral has said it expects to secure around £450 million in proceeds after accounting for minority interests and transaction costs.
Admiral said it expects to return a majority of the funds to shareholders, although some cash will be kept to “support investment in new business development over the coming years”.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
David Stevens, chief executive of Admiral Group, said: “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.
“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.”
Tariq Syed, chief executive of RVU, said: “Penguin Portals offers an exciting opportunity for us to expand our comparison brand portfolio and geographic reach.
“With a shared mission to empower consumers to make more confident decisions, I’m incredibly excited to see the opportunities that we can create together.
“Culturally we are also very aligned – we believe in winning in the right way and keeping consumers at the heart of everything we do.
“With its strong brand heritage and focus on insurance, Confused.com perfectly complements Uswitch’s expertise in the home services category.”