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Thames Water hints at bid for rival

THAMES WATER, the biggest water company in Britain, hinted yesterday that it was gearing up to bid for a rival UK supplier as soon as the industry price review is completed and a new regulator is appointed, writes Michael Harrison.

The company has been pressing the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and the Treasury to end the block on mergers between water companies, claiming it needs the greater scale and size to compete in overseas markets and fund the price reductions sought by Ian Byatt at Ofwat. Bill Alexander (pictured), Thames' chief executive, said that ideally the company would like to double in size, putting it on a more even footing with the likes of French water companies such as Vivendi.