Business

Admiral to sell Confused.com to Uswitch owner for £500m

ZPG will acquire all of Admiral’s comparison website business with shareholders to receive majority of funds

The insurance group Admiral has agreed to sell its comparison website business, which includes Confused.com, to the owner of its rival Uswitch in a deal worth just over £500m.

Admiral 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 Holdings to ZPG (Zoopla Property Group).

ZPG said it will control the acquired businesses through its comparison site division, RVU. The Spanish insurance group Mapfre said it will also sell its stake in Rastreator.com and Preminen as part of the deal.

The deal is worth £508m in total, although the proceeds for Admiral will be about £450m 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 approval and is expected to close in the first half of 2021.

David Stevens, the 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, the chief executive of RVU, said: “Penguin Portals offers an exciting opportunity for us to expand our comparison brand portfolio and geographic reach. With its strong brand heritage and focus on insurance, Confused.com perfectly complements Uswitch’s expertise in the home services category.”