UK-based Direct Line Insurance Group has turned down a buyout offer worth £3.17bn ($4.05bn) from Belgian insurer Ageas, calling the proposal “highly opportunistic”.

After consultation with its advisers, the Direct Line board concluded that the offer “significantly undervalues” the home and motor insurer and its future potential.

It also deemed the bid uncertain and unattractive and unanimously rejected it.

This marks Ageas’ second buyout approach for Direct Line and is nearly 3% higher than the initial £3.1bn bid.

Direct Line’s board received the latest offer from Ageas on 9 March for the acquisition of all issued and to-be-issued shares.

The offer included 120p in cash and one new Ageas share for every 28.41107 Direct Line Group shares, implying a value of 233p per Direct Line share.

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This was higher than the earlier proposal of 100p and an Ageas share for every 25.24047 Direct Line shares.

In a press statement, Direct Line Group said: “The board is confident in Direct Line Group’s standalone prospects. Direct Line Group will release its 2023 preliminary results on Thursday 21 March 2024 and will also then provide an update on further initiatives to build on the operational improvements implemented during 2023.

“There can be no certainty that any firm offer will be made and, save as set out in Ageas’ announcement dated 28 February 2024, there can be no certainty of the terms on which an offer may be made.”

In November last year, Direct Line obtained an Institute of Motor Industry accreditation, enabling its qualified trainers to design and deliver certified training programmes in-house.