Co-op considers £300m sale of insurance arm

The Co-op is considering a sale of its insurance arm for around £300 million in order to free up capital to invest in other initiatives.

According to Sky News, the retailer has called in the aid of Fenchurch Advisory Partners to help sound out buyers for its insurance subsidiary.

Although the retailer is understood to have already approached buyers, it has not yet decided whether it will definitely sell the insurance business, which employs over 1000 people.

Should it decide to make a sale, which is expected to result in redundancies, the Co-op will reportedly require the buyer to commit to selling insurance under the Co-op brand for the foreseeable future, meaning the retailer will not leave the insurance market.

Though Co-op also disposed of its disastrous banking arm last June, it has been accelerating its acquisition of retail brands amid a successful return to profit.

In April, it posted a pre-tax profit of £72 million in 2017, compared with a £132 million loss the year before when it made a £140 million writedown of its stake in the Co-operative Bank.

In May it successfully completed its takeover of Nisa for £143 million, while offering £15 million last month for convenience store chain Costcutter, only to be rejected.

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