Exeter-based Pennon Group acquires Bournemouth Water
FTSE 250 company Pennon Group Plc today announced that it has acquired Bournemouth Water from Singapore-based SembCorp for a cash consideration of £100.3million.
Exeter-based Pennon Group Plc is an environmental utility infrastructure company which owns South West Water Limited and Taunton-based Viridor Limited. The Group has assets of around £5 billion and a workforce of around 4,500 people.
Bournemouth Water is a water-only company serving a population of 437,600 people in an area of more than 1,000 square kilometres, including Bournemouth, Wimborne, the New Forest, Lymington and the Fawley oil refinery on the Solent.
South West Water provides water and sewerage services to 1.7 million customers in Devon and Cornwall, and parts of Dorset and Somerset.
The acquisition, which will be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority, is part of Pennon Group's strategy to prepare for changes in the water industry, creating more efficient and effective wholesale operations and retail services, and preparing for the opening of the non-household retail market from 2017. The regulatory approval process is expected to take about six months.
Chris Loughlin, Pennon Group Board Director and Chief Executive of South West Water, said: "Bournemouth Water has a proud pedigree and high service standards. Like South West Water, it operates in a varied rural and urban landscape with an economy reliant on tourism and the natural environment. We look forward to building on its strengths and continuing to deliver high quality customer services."
Bob Taylor, Managing Director of Bournemouth Water, added: "We welcome the acquisition by the Pennon Group. South West Water has extensive knowledge of the UK water industry and was the only water and sewerage company to have been awarded 'enhanced' status for its business plan. We look forward to the opportunities being part of the Pennon Group will bring."
The acquisition does not affect South West Water's services, customer bills, finances or business plans.
South West Water remains focused on delivering its 2015-20 business plan for its customers. This includes spending about £1billion to maintain and improve services, a 3% reduction in the average household bill in 2015/16 to its lowest level for seven years, and a Price Promise to peg average domestic bills below inflation to the end of the decade.
Published: 16 April 2015
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