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Gocompare.com to be acquired by esure in £95m deal

08 December 2014
  • Founder Hayley Parsons to leave the business she founded eight years ago
  • Gocompare.com will continue to be run from its existing headquarters in Newport, Wales

Newport, 8 December 2014 - Gocompare.com, a leading price comparison brand in the UK, is pleased to announce that long-standing shareholder esure has agreed to acquire the remaining 50% in Gocompare.com that it did not already own for £95 million, giving Gocompare.com a total valuation of £190 million.

As part of the deal, Gocompare.com founder and chief executive Hayley Parsons has decided to leave the business following completion of the acquisition to pursue other personal and business interests.  The deal, which is subject to Competition and Markets Authority approval, is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2015.

In addition, esure has committed to keeping Gocompare.com strictly independent in the running of its partnership and comparison services.  The Gocompare.com team will continue to be based in its existing headquarters in Newport, South Wales, with Jon Morrell, currently managing director of esure Broker and esure's deputy chief operating officer, assuming the role of chief executive, subject to regulatory approval.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2013, Gocompare.com reported a turnover of £110 million (2012: £105 million) and profits before tax of £25 million (2012: £24 million).

Hayley Parsons, founder and chief executive of Gocompare.com, commented:
"I am very proud that a company I started at my kitchen table eight years ago has achieved so much in such a short period of time.  Today, we are a leading price comparison business in the UK and this is credit to all the wonderful, hard-working people we have in Newport. 

"I have always said that the staff at Gocompare.com come first and I will always do the right thing by them.  As such, esure's commitment to keep our headquarters in Newport was an extremely important part of my decision to sell the business and I am confident that I'll be leaving it in very safe hands.

"From a personal perspective, I am delighted that Jon Morrell will be Gocompare.com's next chief executive.  I have known him for many years and am certain there is nobody more suitable to lead this business.  I wish him and the team every success for the future."

Stuart Vann, chief executive of esure, added:
"This is a fantastic opportunity for esure to acquire the remaining share of an important and innovative player in the price comparison market. While esure and Gocompare.com will continue to be run on a strictly independent basis with regard to partnership and comparison services, I believe that there are significant opportunities available for Gocompare.com to grow revenues and profitability over the medium to long term. 

"We look forward to working with Gocompare.com's management team and staff in Newport over the coming months as we continue our journey together."

Evercore are acting as financial adviser to Gocompare.com during the transaction.

For further information, please contact:

Victoria Palmer-Moore or Justin Griffiths
Powerscourt (PR adviser to Gocompare.com)
Tel: 020 7250 1446
Email: GC@powerscourt-group.com

Anders Nilsson
Tel: 01633 654 054
Email: anders.nilsson@gocompare.com

Notes to Editors

About Hayley Parsons OBE, founder and chief executive, Gocompare.com

Hayley Parsons is founder and chief executive of Gocompare.com. She has worked in the insurance industry throughout her career. Hayley launched Gocompare.com in November 2006 and evolved the price comparison site model away from focusing solely on price, to also let customers see cover features that would enable them to make a more informed decision.

Previously, Hayley spent 14 years with Admiral Group where she held several senior positions, including with Gladiator Insurance Services, a £20 million+ turnover insurance intermediary where she managed over 100 staff and headed the sales, renewals and partner relations functions. Hayley was also instrumental in the launch of the first motor insurance comparison site in the UK, Confused.com.

In 2012, Hayley was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list for 'services to the economy'. She has also won numerous business awards including 'Woman in Innovation' at the Woman in Wales awards 2008, and 'Business Leader' at the Inspire Wales awards 2010.

Hayley has a 23% shareholding in Gocompare.com Holdings Limited, The holding company of Gocompare.com Limited.

About Gocompare.com

Gocompare.com is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs. It does not charge consumers to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Gocompare.com makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site. Gocompare.com does not sell its customers' data.