Centrica announces first major acquisition for AA

Centrica plc, which owns the Automobile Association, announced today that it has agreed to acquire Halfords garages, the largest independent chain of car repair, service and maintenance centres in the UK.

The purchase, from The Boots Company for a consideration of £5.75 million in cash, is Centrica’s first major acquisition investment on behalf of the AA and is expected to complete on 31 August.

The agreement includes all 129 car repair centre businesses. This will allow the AA to build on its core strategy of providing essential motoring services for members and other motorists.

Through this deal, the AA will further strengthen its customer relationships by broadening its range of services to cover everyday car maintenance and repair.

Most of the garages are located on the same sites as Halfords retail stores. These retail stores will remain part of The Boots Company, run entirely separately. Around 1200 staff will transfer to Centrica.

Roger Wood, Centrica’s Executive Director responsible for AA Road Services, said: “We are extremely pleased to acquire Halfords garages.  Halfords has established a strong position in this market and the AA will build on that reputation under its own brand so as to offer high quality service to members and motorists generally.”

The acquisition will allow the AA to introduce a range of other benefits for members and customers, including vehicle servicing, on site vehicle inspections and the services that Halfords currently provides such as free brake and tyre checks.

David Thompson, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director of The Boots Company, said: “This is a good deal for customers, staff and shareholders. The AA’s expertise in motoring services will provide new opportunities to grow the garage business. We are looking forward to working closely with the AA, ensuring a smooth transfer of the garage business as a prelude to a good relationship for the future.”