United Utilities' Green ready to sell £800m of assets
Saturday 18 July 2009
United Utilities, the FTSE 100 water company, is reviewing a key division of its business, which could lead to a sale worth over £800m later this year.
The UK's biggest listed water business is looking to sell assets not regulated by Ofwat, such as outsourcing contracts both in the UK and abroad. These include a meter installation contract with British Gas Trading, a water facilities upgrading contract in Townsville, Australia, as well as operations in Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, and the Philippines.
A City banker said: "There could be a sale process as early as September, with the assets fetching more than £800m. But the business is patchy, with many different contracts in different areas, so it could be broken up."
However, a senior utilities adviser said £800m would be "toppy" for the business. The reason for the sale now is not clear, but chief executive Philip Green (left) has previously made sales to clean up the business and return cash to shareholders. In 2007, he sold United's electricity distribution assets to North West Electricity Networks, which provided the bulk of the £1.5bn cash returned to investors in 2008.
United operates water, wastewater, electricity and gas throughout the North-west of the UK, and handles about 60 per cent of outsourced UK utility markets.
JP Morgan Cazenove and Deutsche are joint corporate brokers to United Utilities, which closed at 494.75p on Friday, down 5.75p on the start of trading, valuing the company at around £3.4bn. In the year to March 2009, United Utilities made a pre-tax profit of £529.8m, up 11 per cent on the previous year, with revenues only slightly up at £2.4bn.
A spokesman for United Utilities declined to comment.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
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
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
iJobs Money & Business
£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...
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...