British roadside recovery company AA Plc agreed a sale to private equity groups Warburg Pincus International and TowerBrook Capital Partners on Wednesday, in a deal that digs a popular UK institution out of financial problems deepened by the coronavirus pandemic.
AA’s board said it had accepted a cash offer of 35 pence a share, a premium of 40% to the company’s share price prior to the start of talks on a sale in August and above the 31.8 pence at which its shares closed on Tuesday.
The deal, which valued the company at 219 million pounds ($292 million), was in line with an overnight report in the Financial Times and also outlined an injection of 378 million pounds in extra capital to reduce the company’s debt pile.
“AA has been laboring under too much debt for a long period of time,” the board said in its statement on the deal.
AA, founded by a group of motoring enthusiasts in 1905 and known in Britain for its yellow recovery vehicles, was taken public by its previous private equity owners in 2014 at 250 pence a share.
The consortium said on Wednesday it viewed the company’s car insurance business as a key potential driver of growth, and would also seek to use the company’s brand to invest in areas like driving schools and financial services.
($1 = 0.7492 pounds) (Reporting by Patrick Graham; editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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