New owners plan to double value but will not merge it with Kwik-Fit

The AA's new owners will pursue an aggressive growth strategy aimed at doubling the value of the company within the next five years, according to AA Personal Finance managing director Clare Salmon.

But analysts warned that the ambitious growth plans may be accompanied by considerable cost cutting.

Salmon confirmed that new owners, venture capital companies CVC and Permira, planned to float the company in five years.

She said: "Potentially being a FTSE top 100 company is very exciting. It is very clear to us that the business has been bought because of the potential in the brand. We have been very busy since the beginning of the year and have lots of new product ideas.

"Lending and insurance will continue to be core but the brand can stretch much further than that."

Salmon also sought to reassure the market that existing panel and supplier agreements would not be torn up by the new owners.

She added that the business would not be merged with Kwik-Fit, also owned by CVC.

Salmon said: "It has been made very, very clear to us that the intention is to run us as a separate business. I can see no huge changes on the horizon. This is not a moment to panic, or to think we will change direction."

The statement was backed up by Martin Oliver, managing director of Kwik-Fit Insurance Services.

He said: "CVC does not tend to merge different parts of its investment. What is more likely is that best practice in both organisations will be adopted and lessons learnt will be exchanged."

Tim Parker and Sir Trevor Chinn from Kwik-Fit have been lined up to take over as chief executive and chairman of the AA when the deal, worth £1.75bn, is completed in September.