The AA should be a reliable runner – but it’s dented by £2.7bn of debt

The motoring organisation is a market leader with solid cash flows, but private equity owners have left it struggling

Here comes Simon Breakwell, hauled from the crew of non-executive directors, to perform running repairs on the AA as its new chief executive. His first tweak? A delay to an IT upgrade and a warning that an extra £35m must be spent. The shares hit another all-time low.

On the plus side, boring talk about computers makes a change from recent excitement, such as last month’s removal of executive chairman Bob Mackenzie for gross misconduct after an altercation with a colleague in the bar of a Surrey hotel. We’ll leave the two sides’ lawyers to chew over the details of the incident and ask a different question. How is that the AA, which ought to be the model of a dull and reliable investment, has performed so dreadfully for shareholders?

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