Centrica Buys Family Firm for [Pounds Sterling]30m

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Griffiths

A PLUMBER who launched a heating business from his garden shed in 1963 has secured a comfortable retirement, tapping British Gas for [pounds sterling]30m by selling two-thirds of the firm.

Phil Jones has run property maintenance and repair business PH Jones with his wife Brenda for almost 50 years, having set up as a sole trader in Malpas, Cheshire.

The couple, both in their 60s, are retiring and leaving sons Martin and Chris to continue running the remaining utility services division, which boasts a [pounds sterling]15m turnover.

British Gas parent company Centrica is buying PH Jones to beef up its Community Energy division.

The social housing business provides central heating services and repairs to around 250,000 properties under 42 contracts. It also installs more than 8,000 central heating systems a year through 28 contracts.

Martin Jones said: 'Having nurtured and successfully grown the business for nearly 50 years, the time is right for mum and dad to exit the company and enjoy a well-earned retirement.' He added: 'We've built this business on strong family values and these have been the foundation of its success.' The Jones brothers, who are equal shareholders in the new PH Jones Metering Services business, have ambitious plans to double turnover by 2014 through a focus on emerging smart metering technology. …