Business

Admiral concludes £508m sell off of businesses including Confused.com

Car insurance to home loans group Admiral has finalised the £508m sale of interests that includes its Cardiff-based price comparison firm Confused.com to RVU.

It comes after regulatory and competition authority approvals for the RVU’s acquisition of Admiral’s Penguin Portals Group, which as well as Confused.com, runs price comparison businesses Rastreator.com in Spain and LeLynx.fr in France. It also covers the group’s technology operation Admiral Technologies.

The deal also sees RVU acquiring Admiral’s 50% share of Preminen Price Comparison Holdings, its joint venture with MAPFRE. Moreover, MAPFRE has sold its stake in Preminen to RVU and its 25% holding in Rastreator.

As well as Uswitch, RUV owns Money.co.uk. The deal was announced last December subject to regulatory clearance.

The sell offs, net of minority interests and transaction costs, gives Admiral a cash consideration of £460m.

FTSE 100 Admiral, which is has its HQ in Cardiff and with offices in Swansea and Newport employs more than 7,000 in South Wales, said that with its strong solvency and liquidity position it expects the proceeds to be returned to shareholders. However, it will retain a portion to support investment in new business development over the coming years.

Milena Mondini, chief executive of Admiral Group said: “The Penguin Portals businesses have been an important part of Admiral’s story, and all of our great colleagues will be enormously missed.

“We believe that this was the right choice for Admiral and our shareholders, as well as for the long-term success of these businesses as they will find additional synergies and opportunities to further grow and fulfil their ambitions with RVU.

“We wish our Penguin Portal colleagues all the best for the future and look forward to continuing to work together.”

Admiral was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Clifford Chance LLP and KPMG in connection with the transaction.

Tariq Syed, chief executive of RVU, said: “This is a win for our brands, our teams and most importantly our customers, bringing together best in class sector experience in home services and insurance. We now have the opportunity to empower millions more consumers to find the right deal for their needs, across the UK, Europe and beyond. With world class expertise and a strong shared vision, I’m incredibly excited to see the opportunities that we can create together.”

Penguin Portals, which employs almost 700, also includes a start-up in Mexico and a development centre in India.

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