GMB call on Government to call in new AA takeover
GMB Southern call on UK government to call in potential new takeover of AA to insist on viable plan for future of breakdown company
A solution is required whereby the massive £2.6 billion debts are converted into equity to allow AA to escape from its pillaging so as to get on with its core business says GMB
People like Tim Parker at National Trust should be held to account for what has happened to AA adds GMB
GMB Southern, the union for staff in the AA, is calling on the UK Government to call in the potential new takeover of AA to insist on viable plan for the future of this breakdown company.
Press reports are that talks are underway with private equity companies Warburg Pincus and Towerbrook Capital for a takeover of £218m and the promise of a capital injection of £380m. See below in notes to editors copy of report in Daily Mail of 24 November.
Paul Maloney, GMB Regional secretary, said " GMB has been engaged in a long running, but to date unsuccessful, campaign to stop the asset stripping of this great organisation by marauding financial predators. Thousands of GMB members have suffered the consequences of this greed.
GMB is again seeking a solution whereby the massive £2.6 billion debts are converted into equity to allow the organisation to escape from its pillaging so as to get on with its core business.
We ask the Government to call in this latest takeover to insist that the debts are actually dealt with this time. AA staff deserve nothing less after their 16 years of being at the sharp end of private equity marauding.
The rogues gallery of people in the City who presided over and took part in the pillage of this company are well known. They should be held to account for what has happened at AA. GMB consider that they should be drummed out of polite society.
One such is Tim Parker chair of National Trust- currently busy lecturing the nation on exploitation in former times.
GMB has not forgotten that he presided over the sacking of 3,000 AA staff out of a workforce of 10,000 without issuing a redundancy notice. It was without doubt the greatest act of corporate bullying ever seen in the UK.
For this exploitation he raked in hundreds of millions when the private equity owners paid themselves massive sums from borrowed money. The debts are still there.
His behaviour has been disgraceful. He should be held to account and drummed out of National Trust."
Contact Paul Maloney 07801 343839 .
Notes to editors
Copy of report in Daily Mail on 24 November 2020 by Alex Brummer.
There can be few greater examples of value and brand destruction than the AA.
The long winding road to the motoring group's parlous state began in 1999 when members sold the pass by voting for a £1.1bn bid by British Gas owner Centrica, each collecting a bung of £240. In today's world that would just about buy a family subscription. Centrica's curious idea that car engineers could also fix your gas boiler never really took off and in 2004 the AA fell into the hands of private equity vultures Permira and CVC for £1.75billion.
The alchemy continued and, after a fraught period of ownership, when the owners were at war with the GMB union, the AA was sold to Charterhouse-owned travel and insurance concern Saga in a deal which placed an astonishing £3.4billion value on the motoring concern. It has been a steep ride down ever since as financial owners squeezed it dry before dumping it back on the stock market. The low point in terms of reputation was reached in 2017 when former chief executive Bob Mackenzie was involved in a brawl that cost him his job. As with so many companies put through the private equity wringer, the AA was loaded up with debt and had the anvil of £2.6bn hanging over it at the start of this year.
AA is so worried about survival that it is offering itself up to private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Towerbrook Capital for a feeble £218m and the promise of a capital injection of £380m.
It is a miserable last-ditch choice for a brand which once traded on the slogan that it was the nation's 4th rescue service. Don't count on instant responses on roadside this winter.