Calm down, it’s just an esure float

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INSURER esure announced plans to join the stock market yesterday in a move set to trigger a windfall for industry tycoon Peter Wood.

The owner of Sheilas’ Wheels and half of comparison website Go Compare is reportedly targeting a valuation of £1bn in the flotation.

Mr Wood, who founded Direct Line in 1985 before setting up esure in 2000, owns 90 per cent of the company with private equity backer Tosca Penta.

They will sell shares in the float but continue to have substantial shareholdings. The internet business, which was made famous by the late Michael Winner’s (pictured) “Calm down, dear” television ads, was created out of a joint venture with the Halifax before Lloyds Banking Group sold its 70 per cent stake in 2010.

Management will now embark on a roadshow to attract investors prior to what is set to be the London market’s biggest flotation of the year so far.