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Esure mulls Gocompare demerger

Online insurer also announces new chief executive for price comparison website
Esure mulls Gocompare demerger
Esure has revamped Gocompare's marketing with new adverts featuring fictional opera singer Gio Compario

Online insurer esure Group plc (LON:ESUR) is considering hiving off price comparison website Gocompare.com.

Esure said it had launched a strategic review of Gocompare “including a potential demerger” and would update investors as and when appropriate.

It also announced a new chief executive for the site, which has been overhauled to offer a wider range of products.

The company has also revamped Gocompare's marketing with new adverts featuring fictional opera singer Gio Compario.

Former Lastminute.com chief executive Matthew Crummack will take over from Jon Morrell.

Esure said in late 2014 that it was buying the 50% of Gocompare it did not already own for £95mln.

It said on Tuesday that the shake-up of Gocompare had underpinned its confidence in its guidance for a 20%-30% improvement in the site’s profits this year.

Chairman Peter Wood said: “Now is the right time to review strategic opportunities for the Gocompare.com business, including a potential demerger, to continue to maximise value for our shareholders.

“I am delighted to announce Matthew's appointment as the new Gocompare.com CEO and look forward to him building on the significant progress made since esure's acquisition of Gocompare.com.

“Jon Morrell has done a good job in our first year of full ownership. He leaves with our thanks for his work and we wish him well in his next role."

Chief executive Stuart Vann said: “Since acquiring full control of Gocompare.com in April 2015, we have made good progress on both esure and Gocompare.com strategic objectives.

"As reported in our 2016 first quarter interim management statement, we are delighted to see continued growth in esure and Gocompare.com.”

Shares in esure rose 4.8p, or 1.7%, to 287.8p in mid-morning London trading.

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