Gocompare.com has snubbed a takeover bid from the owner of rival property portal Zoopla, with British insurance guru Sir Peter Wood calling the offer “highly opportunistic” and far too low.
Gocompare, best-known for its catchy adverts featuring opera singer Wynne Evans, saw its shares shoot up 10pc after Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) confirmed it had approached the business but had the offer rejected.
ZPG proposed to buy the business for 110p-a-share in late May and tabled the same offer again last week, but Gocompare said the bid “fundamentally undervalues” the website. It did not rule out accepting a higher offer.
Gocompare demerged from insurance group Esure last year, with its shares rising more than 40pc since it was spun out as a separate company. Sir Peter, who chairs Gocompare’s board and founded the insurers Direct Line and Esure, said he was pleased with the transformation of the business and saw ZPG’s offer as opportunistic.
According to takeover rules, ZPG now has until December 12 to give the deal another try or walk away. It is unclear if the firm intends to return with a higher offer, simply telling investors on Tuesday that the board was now “considering its position”.