BRITAIN’S leading motoring organisation is now a public limited company.

The AA, headquartered at Fanum House, on Basing View, made its debut on the London Stock Exchange this week, opening at 244 pence a share on Monday.

It had priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 250p per share to raise £1.4billion, most of which will go to its private equity owners Permira, Charterhouse and CVC.

Aviva, Legal & General, Lansdowne and Invesco were among the institutional investors, who backed a buy-in headed by one-time Green Flag boss Bob MacKenzie, who is now the AA’s executive chairman.

They have taken on around £3bn of the AA’s debt.

The next chapter of The AA got off to a good start this morning – Thursday June 26 – as chief executive Chris Jensen flagged off The AA as a plc with Lord March.

They were at the start of the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Moving Motor Show presented by The AA.

The floatation follows that of its sister company, the over 50s insurance to holidays provider Saga, which closed flat on its debut last month.

Its private equity owners merged with the AA in 2007 under parent vehicle Acromas.

Chief executive Chris Jansen, said he was delighted to have seen such strong demand in AA shares, which despite the fall in share price, was over-subscribed.

Mr Jansen said: “It’s no doubt driven by a combination of the core strengths of the business and the expectation of what we can do with the business in the future.”

Established in 1905, the membership organisation was demutualise in 1999 and acquired by Centrica for £1.1bn.

In 2004, Permira and CVC purchased the company for £1.75bn.

The AA, otherwise known as The Automobile Association, has been based in Basingstoke since 1972.