U.K. online aggregator GoCompare draws private-equity eyes

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Bloomberg) --GoCompare.com Group Plc attracted takeover interest from potential acquirers, including private equity firm KKR & Co., in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.K. insurance comparison company and its board decided to stay independent after holding informal discussions with its advisers and some of the potential bidders, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. The firm has a market value of about 431 million pounds ($555 million).

Representatives for GoCompare and KKR declined to comment.

GoCompare -- which lets customers shop for the best rates on vehicle, home, travel and life insurance as well as gas and electricity and broadband service -- rejected a takeover offer from property portal ZPG Plc in November saying it fundamentally undervalued the company. Peers include London-listed Moneysupermarket.com Group, Australia’s Compare the Market Pty and USwitch Ltd.

Bain Capital agreed to buy Esure Group Plc for about 1.17 billion pounds earlier this month.

Shares of GoCompare dropped last week after a Reuters report that Amazon.com Inc. is talking to insurance companies about creating a rival U.K. price comparison website.

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