Insurance company Admiral has announced an agreement to sell Confused.com, one of the UK’s largest online price comparison sites to Zoopla, owner of rival comparison site Uswitch.
The deal, worth around £508million, includes the rest of the Penguin Portals arm with Rastretor.com in Spain and LeLynx.fr in France, as well as its technology operation and its 50% share in Preminen Price Comparison Holding.
Tariq Syed, Chief Executive of RVU, Zoopla Property Group’s comparison site division, said: “Penguin Portals offers an exciting opportunity for us to expand our comparison brand portfolio and geographic reach. With a shared mission to empower consumers to make more confident decisions, I’m incredibly excited to see the opportunities that we can create together. Culturally we are also very aligned – we believe in winning in the right way and keeping consumers at the heart of everything we do.
“With its strong brand heritage and focus on insurance, Confused.com perfectly complements Uswitch’s expertise in the home services category. And, with equally established offerings in other countries, we have an opportunity to help even more consumers find the right deals for their needs.”
Admiral has advised it expects to return a majority of the funds to shareholders, with admiral expecting to secure around £450mllion after accounting for minority interests and transaction costs. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021 subject to regulatory and competition authority approvals.
David Stevens, 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.”