Flotation from the end of 2009 possible

Insurance entrepreneur Peter Wood is trying to buy Esure from Lloyds Banking Group, according to a report this weekend.

Esure refused to comment on speculation that Wood had secured backing from Penta Capital and hedge fund Toscafund.

Wood, best-known for founding Direct Line, chairs Esure, which he set up as a joint venture with HBOS in 2001. Lloyds, which took control of HBOS this year, holds a 70% stake, with 24% held by Wood and 6% by the business’s management.

A clause in Wood’s contract is believed to allow him to push for a flotation from the end of the last year, something that the improved economy has now made possible.