Fact Service June 2011

Issue 26

RAC sold to private equity in £1bn deal

The RAC breakdown service has been sold to the US private equity group Carlyle for £1 billion.

The Unite general union said Carlyle had given assurances that the sale would ensure “the workforce is protected, terms and conditions will be maintained and, crucially, all the pensions arrangements will be preserved.

“It is vital that Carlyle stands by the guarantees given to the staff and works with the union to ensure the future success of the business.”

But Carlyle refused to say what proportion of the consideration for the RAC was being met via debt, or how much equity it was injecting. The company also refused to comment on job losses, although sources close to the firm said the takeover would not lead to redundancies.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The private equity takeover of the RAC is another sign that it is back to business as usual in the City.

“The rest of us are still paying a heavy price for the damage done by this kind of irresponsible capitalism, which may make pots of money for those involved but contributes nothing to the wider economy.”