The AA is reported to have held talks over the sale of its Irish operation

It generated operating profits of £14.8m last year...

The AA is reported to have held talks over the sale of its Irish operation

Andy Butterton / PA

Newstalk has learned that the UK publicly-quoted motor services and insurance group, the AA, has been in discussions about the sale of its Irish subsidiary, AA Ireland.

AA Ireland employs close to 500 people here and provides motor, home and other insurance products, car breakdown services, AA Roadwatch and a range of other travel and accommodation advisory services. It has operated in Ireland since 1910.

A source familiar with the discussions has told Newstalk that the AA, which floated on the London Stock Exchange two years ago, has held discussions about the sale of AA Ireland with at least three private equity firms, two based in Ireland the other located in the UK.

A spokesperson for the AA declined to comment last night.

It’s understood that any sale might involve some sort of licensing agreement for the AA brand name which is seen as crucial to the expansion of the operation’s business here through the sale of other online consumer services and products.

According to the AA’s latest Annual Report, AA Ireland generated sales of close to £39m last year and EBITDA or operating profits of £14.8m. In euro terms, these figures represented a modest increase on the prior year.