Niche magazine publisher Future has made an offer to buy GoCompare in a cash and shares deal that values the price comparison website at £594m.
A merger, it said, would strengthen Future’s aim to “address the growing consumer demand for informed and value-driven purchasing decisions”.
Future was last year the best performer on the FTSE 350, as its successful combination of publishing and ecommerce offered hope to an industry that has been shedding readers, advertisers and investors.
Future said that its chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne, who sits on the board of GoCoGroup, GoCompare’s parent company, had not played a role in valuing the deal or recommended it to the website’s shareholders.
GoCompare lists prices for services such as car and home insurance, mortgages and other financial products. The 14-year-old company demerged from insurance group Esure four years ago.
GoCo has been moving into subscription-based services that offer more regular revenues than traditional switching.
Peter Wood, chairman of GoCo and founder of Esure, said Future’s “market leading global platform for specialist media and content” would help the price comparison website grow and better tap into advertising-driven revenue.