Veolia sells off its water in the capital

Veolia, the French utilities giant, yesterday sold its water business which supplies several London boroughs, to Rift Acquisitions, a joint venture of managed infrastructure investment funds run by Prudential and Morgan Stanley, in a deal worth £1.2bn.

Veolia's remaining water business in Britain is an outsourcing division which manages infrastructure and carries out water treatment.

This is the first major sell-off by the world's largest water supplier as it attempts to cut its debt pile.

It plans to get borrowings below €12bn (£9.6bn) by the end of 2013.