Centrica acquires Connaught gas and electrical safety service businesses

11th Oct 2010

Centrica, the parent group of British Gas, has reached an agreement to buy the gas and electrical safety services businesses from specialist firm Connaught which went into administration in September when its social housing arm collapsed. The move will strengthen the British Gas engineer force, add a further 20,000 customers and includes the acquisition of Connaught’s training academy in South Wales which trains technicians in boiler service and boiler repair.

Connaught Group plc went into administration at the beginning of August, however both the Connaught Compliance and Environmental businesses have continued to trade normally. But with the gas and electrical services sector of the business up for grabs, the largest British provider of gas and electricity sprang on the opportunity and has bought the business for £11.2m cash.

Approximately 600 trainer Connaught employees will now shift to Centrica with the firm also getting its hands on the Connaught Academy – one of the UK’s largest independent accredited training centres.

The training centre provides Centrica with a location to train technicians in new boiler installation, servicing and maintenance of British Gas boilers and electrical systems and equipment.

Ian Carlisle, Chief Executive of Connaught Compliance, said: “This deal fulfils a key element of our ongoing strategy to refocus Connaught Compliance on the core elements of our business while retaining the most comprehensive range of health and safety services in the UK.

“Centrica has made a compelling offer but crucially has an unrivalled ability to leverage economies of scale, expertise and resources in these markets, meaning that the deal makes sense not just financially but also in respect of securing the long term future of both businesses and their employees.

“The outlook for Connaught Compliance remains positive. The sale of our gas and electrical businesses will allow the management team to focus on growing and developing our core field and advisory services. We now have a unique opportunity to further refine and improve the way we deliver these services, align ourselves even more closely with our clients’ needs and build upon the quality and service that our customers demand.”