Abu Dhabi invests in UK water utility company

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Exploratory works carried out by Thames Water for the Thames Tunnel outside the palace of Westminster in London. Photo - ThamesWater.co.uk

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is buying a 9.9 per cent of stake of Thames Water from a group of investors led by Australian Investment bank Macquarie.

Thames Water Utilities Ltd, known as Thames Water, a private utility company responsible for the public water supply and waste water treatment in large parts of Greater London, was sold for an enterprise value of 8bn ($12.5bn) by German utility group RWE in 2006, which included 4.8bn in cash and 3.2bn in debt. The sale is part of RWE’s strategy to focus on electricity and gas businesses, like its bigger rival E.ON.

Macquarie declined to disclose terms for the sale of a 9.9 per cent stake in Kemble Water, the holding company for the UK utility.

The Macquarie-led group, which beat three other major bidders in the 2006 auction including one led by the Qatar Investment Authority, said it remained committed to managing Thames Water as its majority owner.

Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater services company, and supplies 2.6 Gigalitres of drinking water daily. It posted a turnover of 1.62bn ($2.51bn) on 31 March this year, with net debts of 6.8bn ($10.53bn).

The sale of the minority stake of Thames Water to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has been made by two Macquarie-controlled funds and a third investor.

Source: Financial Times, CNN

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