Fleet News

Kwik-Fit owner buys AA in massive £1.75 billion deal

THE AA has been bought in a massive £1.75 billion deal by the same company which bought Kwik-Fit from Ford two years ago.

Buy-out specialist CVC Capital Partners teamed up with private equity firm Permira to buy the motoring organisation from Centrica.

The company confirmed it was putting the AA up for sale last month as it sought to increase its utility assets (Fleet News, June 24). The AA won best breakdown company in this year's Fleet News Awards.

In 2002, CVC bought Kwik-Fit from Ford in a £330 million deal. Kwik-Fit chairman Sir Trevor Chinn will now become chairman of the AA and Tim Parker, current Kwik-Fit chief executive, will take up the same role with the AA. Sir Trevor said: 'The AA is a unique British brand that has given excellent service to motorists for 100 years based on the commitment of its employees.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue building on that tradition. CVC and Permira bring a wealth of experience in growing top brand names and I look forward to working with them in developing this great business.'

Formerly a mutual organisation, Centrica took over the AA in July 1999. Last year, its turnover grew by 4.9% to £797 million and its operating profit increased 27% to £93 million.

Parker said: 'The AA is an iconic brand with an enviable market position that is cherished by the British public. I feel very proud to be joining the team and relish the opportunity to work with them in taking the business forward.'

Current AA managing director Roger Wood is to retire in the autumn. The AA has about 15 million members and offers roadside recovery, insurance, personal loans, service centres, mobile tyre fitting, publishing and driving schools.

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