York Waterworks shares surge 30% on bid talks

SHARES IN YORK Waterworks, the quoted business that serves 175,000 people in and around the city of York, leaped 30 per cent yesterday to 445p, valuing the company at pounds 29.7m, after the chairman, Richard Stanley, confirmed that it has received an approach that may lead to an offer for the company.

The most likely bidders are thought to be Yorkshire Water, whose territory surrounds York Waterworks and provides the sewerage services for the City, or Anglia Water, which operates in the East Midlands and East Anglia.

However, analysts do not rule out an overseas buyer looking for a secure high dividend income in the UK.

Axa Equity & Law is the main shareholder in York with 26 per cent, followed by Prudential with 13 per cent, Chase Nominees with 8.5 per cent and the directors with 7.7 per cent between them.

The company has an annual turnover of only pounds 9m and 80 employees based in York.

It reported profits of pounds 2.88m in the year to the end of March 1998, down 14 per cent on the previous year, after absorbing the start-up costs of a domestic gas supply business, which was set up 18 months ago in partnership with the shipping operator United Gas.

It already has 20,000 customers countrywide and is expected to move into profit in the coming financial year.

York Waterworks reported earnings of 34.24p a share and paid a net dividend of 13.85p last year.

In the current year analysts are forecasting a profit of pounds 3.75m, earnings of 41.5p a share and a further increase in the dividend to 15p net.

The business is subject to the controls imposed by the water regulator Ian Byatt, but is exempt from the environmental charges paid by regional water companies, which have responsibility for the cost of improving water quality in rivers and on beaches.

The shares had already risen 32.5p on Thursday, in advance of yesterday's jump of 105p.

News of the possible bid excited investors in other small quoted waterworks including Cambridge Water, up 20p to 312.5p, and Dee Valley, 27.5p higher at 480p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower