Hong Kong billionaire close to UK water deal
Tuesday 12 July 2011
Northumbrian Water has received a formal cash offer from the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing valuing the company at £2.4bn, sending the stock up more than 5 per cent to 447.7p.
Mr Li's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) has made a revised indicative proposal of 465p a share – a 21 per cent premium to the closing price before the talks went public earlier this month.
In response, Northumbrian has opened its books to CKI for "a limited period", although the company stressed that there was still "no certainty that any offer will be made" and CKI has reserved the right to offer a lower price if the Northumbrian board agrees.
The proposal also leaves Northumbrian Water shareholders entitled to a net final dividend of 9.57p a share.
CKI is already a big player in the British infrastructure sector, having paid £5.8bn for the electricity giant EDF's power networks last year, adding to holdings in power stations and gas networks. It also owns stakes in Southern Water and Cambridge Water, but has pledged to sell the latter ahead of any mandatory offer to avoid competition issues.
The octogenarian Mr Li – known as "superman" in his native Hong Kong – started out labouring in a plastics factory and now owns companies making up 15 per cent of the market capitalisation of the Hong Kong stock exchange. His sprawling Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong conglomerates are involved in everything from property to retail to container terminals to telecoms.
CKI's interest in Northumbrian Water caused some controversy when it surfaced earlier this month. After several days of confusion about an offer, a local MP, Kevan Jones, criticised the group for leaving Northumbrian Water's 3,000 staff "in the dark" about their futures, while others worried that a takeover could endanger much-needed private sector jobs in the region.
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Video: Boxer Vido Loncar brutally assaults referee following defeat
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...