Centrica, the parent of energy company British Gas, has acquired PH Jones Group, a business which provides central heating services to social housing.
Centrica, the parent of energy company British Gas, has acquired PH Jones Group, a business which provides central heating services to the social housing market.
The purchase of the Cheshire-based business is for a total of £30 million to be paid in cash. British Gas, which will acquire 850 employees, says the deal marks a ‘major step’ in its strategy to build its social housing energy services offering.
The deal has been made through Centrica’s British Gas Community Energy division. Managing director of the division, Betsy Bassis, says the buy ‘significantly accelerates’ its growth strategy in social housing.
Bassis adds: ‘Social housing is a strategically important market for British Gas. It not only represents 20 per cent of Britain’s housing stock, but it is also an early adopter of energy efficiency and renewable technologies.’
Founded in a portable cabin in 1963 by plumber Phil Jones, PH Jones now has 1200 staff providing property maintenance and metering services to public and private sector clients.
On completion of the deal, Jones and his wife will retire from the company, leaving the operating responsibility to their two sons, Martin and Chris Jones.
Under the terms of the deal British Gas will acquire two of the three divisions that make up PH Jones, the Homeservices and Facilities Management. The remaining sector, Utility Services division, will remain in the hands of Martin and Chris Jones.
PH Jones will continue to operate out of its Wrexham office and will retain all 250 engineers and support staff.
British Gas reports that the social housing sector is forecast to spend £3.5 billion a year on energy services by 2012. The market is expected to grow further through the promotion of microgeneration and renewable heating through government targets to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
Bassis comments: ‘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.’