Lloyds sells Esure stake to Woods for £185 million

Lloyds Plc, the UK's biggest mortgage lender, has sold its 70-per cent stake in Esure Group Holdings to a management buyout vehicle led by Esure chairman and co-founder Peter Wood, for £185 million ($289 million).

Esure was founded in 2000 as a joint venture by Peter Wood and the then Halifax plc.

As on 31 December 2008, Eesure had gross assets of £975.5 million (including assets backing insurance liabilities). The impact on the group's accounts is not expected to be material.

Archie Kane, group executive director insurance, Lloyds Banking Group said, "This sale means we can focus our efforts on our core general insurance brands of Halifax and Lloyds TSB''.

''Our priority is to deliver strong insurance products and excellent customer service cross the general insurance business, thereby reinforcing our reputation as a market-leading insurance provider," Kane said.

Esure, one of Britain's largest providers of home, motor, travel and pet insurance, using the internet as a primary sales channel, also includes the Sheilas' Wheels brand.