Centrica completes sale of the AA

Centrica plc today confirmed that it has completed the sale of the AA to a company formed by CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Permira Advisers Ltd, as announced on 1 July 2004.

This follows receipt of all regulatory clearances from the respective bodies in the UK, the Channel Islands, Ireland and the European Commission.

A circular will shortly be posted to shareholders setting out full details of Centrica’s proposals, also announced on 1 July, for a special dividend and accompanying share consolidation.

Payment of the special dividend is conditional on shareholder approval for the share consolidation, which will be sought at an extraordinary general meeting. Details of the meeting will be included in the circular.

The intention is to return a total of not less than £1.5 billion to shareholders via a combination of the proposed special dividend and a rolling share repurchase programme which is already under way.

The proposed special dividend amounts to approximately ten per cent of Centrica’s market capitalisation as at close of business on 30 September (adjusted to take account of the interim dividend of 2.5p per share), and will total £1.058 billion, or 25 pence per share. The proposed share consolidation will similarly reduce the number of Centrica shares in issue by approximately ten per cent, on a basis of nine new shares for every ten presently held.

The expected anticipated timetable for the extraordinary general meeting, payment of the interim dividend of 2.5 pence per share, declared on 29 July 2004, and payment of the proposed special dividend is as follows:

Wednesday 20 Oct 2004: Ex dividend date for interim dividend

Thursday 21 Oct 2004: Extraordinary general meeting, 10am, at the Ibis London Earls Court Hotel, London, SW6 1UD.

Friday 22 Oct 2004: Record date for interim dividend, proposed special dividend and proposed share consolidation

Monday 25 Oct 2004: Ex dividend date for proposed special dividend and first day of dealing in new ordinary shares

Wednesday 17 Nov 2004: Payment date for interim dividend and proposed special dividend.