Shares rise in response to Esure sale talk

Personal lines insurer Esure’s shares have jumped 6% in this morning’s trading following reports that founder and chairman Sir Peter Wood has been in talks to sell his stake.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Wood had been holding informal talks with potential buyers to sell his 30.7% stake in the London-listed insurer.

The paper said Wood’s sale of his stake would trigger a bid for the whole company.

The Sunday Times added that rival insurance chief executives claimed to have been contacted by Wood in recent months to gauge their interest in a deal, and that he could have an agreement in place by next month.

The Esure sale talk has pushed the insurer’s share price up to 279.17p in trading this morning, compared with Friday’s closing price of 262.60p.

An Esure spokeswoman said: “Esure do not comment on any M&A speculation.”