Thames reveals itself as takeover target

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Thames Water today revealed that the group is in talks which could lead to its takeover at a value of £4.3 billion.

Thames Water today revealed that the group is in talks which could lead to its takeover at a value of £4.3 billion.

It said discussions were advanced regarding a recommended cash offer of £12.15 a share. A further announcement could be expected within a week regarding the final outcome.

Thames Water is Britain's biggest water company. Soon after the announcement, shares had risen 26 per cent - up 235p at £11.50.

Investors will be relieved. After last year's high of £11.36, shares yesterday closed at 915p.

US-controlled Western Power Distribution last month toook over Welsh utility Hyder.

This time, the most likely bidders are thought to be French or German. Possible predators could include Vivendi, the French utility, media and entertainment giant, and German utility group RWE.

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