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British Gas acquires PH Jones

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has acquired PH Jones for £30 million.
British Gas acquires PH Jones
The British Gas Community Energy division has bought PH Jones, a provider of central heating services to the social housing market, in order to build its social housing energy services business and help social housing providers.

The move follows the announcement in September 2010 of a strategic partnership with Mears to jointly bid on repair and maintenance contracts in the social housing sector.

The transaction includes the purchase of two divisions of PH Jones which provide central heating service and repair for around 250,000 properties under 42 contracts, it also carries out over 8,000 central heating installations every year through 28 contracts within the social housing sector. The acquisition will bring British Gas around 850 employees, of whom approximately 560 work in the social housing business.

Betsy Bassis, managing director of British Gas Community Energy, said: 'Social housing is a strategically important market for British Gas. We are committed to creating a leading energy services business for the public sector and our focus is on growing successfully through a combination of strong organic growth and our partnership with Mears, one of the leading providers of repairs and maintenance in social housing.'

Social housing represents 20 per cent of the UK's housing stock (around 5 million homes) and the sector is forecast to spend £3.5 billion a year on energy services by 2012. The market is forecast to grow further, driven by the growth of microgeneration and renewable heating resulting from Government targets to reduce the UK's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Ms Bassis added: 'The acquisition of PH Jones significantly accelerates our growth strategy in social housing. PH Jones is a successful, profitable company in this sector and combining its strengths with those of British Gas will deliver important benefits for our customers.'

The transaction does not include PH Jones' utility services sector, which is being retained by the family run business who intend to focus on metering services in the future. The sale to British Gas will see husband and wife team, Phil and Brenda Jones, retire while their sons, Martin and Chris Jones, will continue at the business both taking equal stakes in the remaining division, which already has a turnover of £15 million.

Martin Jones, managing director of PH Jones, said: 'By solely concentrating on metering services our aim is to continuously improve the service delivery to all our clients - existing and new. PH Jones Metering Services has a great team with exciting potential and prospects. We are committed to becoming the leaders in the metering industry.'

PH Jones Metering Services will operate out of its main Wrexham office and will retain all of its 250 engineers and 50 support staff. Martin and Chris Jones will oversee the strategic development of the business and David Burke, utilities director, will continue in his management role.

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16 May 2011


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