Calm down! Wood buys Lloyds out of eSure
The eSure founder Peter Wood yesterday promised no let-up when it comes to television's most annoying ads as he celebrated the buyout of Lloyds Banking Group from the business.
Mr Wood, along with management and other investors, will pay "slightly more than" the £185m that the bank's 70 per cent stake is valued at on its book to take full control of eSure. Funding for the deal was supplied by Tosca Penta Investments, a new private equity vehicle managed by Penta Capital.
Mr Wood, who also set up Direct Line, founded the business in 2001 with the help of HBOS. It specialises in providing insurance to lower-risk customers, but has branched out with the launch of the "Sheila's Wheels" brand targeted at women drivers.
The HBOS stake was inherited by Lloyds after the bank rescued its rival in a shotgun wedding at the height of the financial crisis. The relationship between Mr Wood and his new majority owner was somewhat less harmonious than that with HBOS.
ESure, which employs 1,500 people, has established itself in the public's consciousness with a series of advertisements featuring the film maker Michael Winner – catchphrase "calm down dear". Mr Wood said there would be no let-up now he has full control of the business.
"When Lloyds took over either they were going to buy me out or I was going to buy them out," said Mr Wood. "It's something we have been talking about for some time. I'm going to carry on running a successful business, not growing too much, being efficient."
Among Mr Wood's plans is a new travel insurance product aimed at the over-fifties who often find it difficult to get cover. It is likely to be packaged with eSure car and/or home insurance.
"Of course, we'll have Mr Winner's help for that. The ads have got us on people's radars. They've got us on people's shopping lists. We're not selling Louis Vuitton," said Mr Wood. The eSure brand will also be used to sponsor Mr Winner's new television show Michael Winner's Dining Stars.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...
£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...