Cox Insurance Holdings will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and taken private by Neil Utley and his backers, Insurance Times can exclusively reveal.

In a drastic break with the past, Utley will also axe the group's existing board in its entirety.

He said the move would allow him to focus on running the business rather than "looking after shareholders".

Fieldstreet, the Utley-led financial vehicle, announced last week that it had received acceptances for around 250 million shares, representing 80% of Cox's existing share capital.

Once acceptances hit 90%, the deal will be declared unconditional and the takeover will be finalised.

Utley said: "We will be writing to the LSE as soon as possible to delist Cox from the market. The process should be completed in a matter of weeks.

"As a Plc, too much of our time was spent on due diligence and looking after the interests of shareholders. Under the new model, we can be fully focused on pushing the business forward without distractions which add no value."

In a new, slimmed-down executive structure, Utley will sit on the board with private equity holders Duke Street and Englefield and an as yet unnamed non-executive chairman.

The existing board, which includes caretaker chief executive Andrew Fisher, will resign en masse once the takeover is confirmed.

Utley said: "There is no acrimony between myself and the old board at Cox. We have different goals and so a change of personnel is inevitable."

Speaking about the future of the group, Utley said: "Our backers are here for the long haul which means we can invest in upgrading our IT and support systems, and have capital to expand and acquire.

"It is a very exciting time and I am just looking forward to getting back to business."