Centrica buys family firm for a cool £5m

THE owners of a family-run insulation firm were £5 million richer yesterday after selling the business to Centrica, the owner of British Gas.

Cheshire-based Hillserve, which has 159 staff, was set up in 1985 by founder Harry Hearsum and is now run by his daughter, Julie Hadfield. She said the takeover came 25 years to the week after the firm was founded.

The deal comes as Centrica looks to capitalise on increased home insulation spending, which is expected to rise from 600m to 1.4 billion by 2015. The firm is planning to take on 1,100 staff in the next 18 months.

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