Australia’s Macquarie buys £1bn majority stake in Southern Water

The capital will enable the water company to significantly upgrade its network, with £2bn to be invested over the next four years

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Australia’s Macquarie Asset Management has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Southern Water Services Limited in a deal worth more than £1 billion.

Under the agreement, Macquarie will invest, on behalf of long term investors including pension funds and insurance companies, to recapitalise the business and implement a more sustainable financing strategy for Southern Water.

The water company provides essential services to 2.6 million water and 4.7 million wastewater customers across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The capital will enable Southern Water to significantly upgrade its network, with £2 billion to be invested over the next four years to fix pipes, pumping stations and sewers which are underperforming and causing harm to the environment.

It will also help the water company create around 1,000 new jobs and expand its apprenticeship programme.

Ian McAulay, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Water said: “This is good news for our customers, the local environment and the regional economy. This investment ensures we will be able to spend more than £2 billion in the next four years improving the resilience of our existing network to reduce pollution incidents and leakages.

“It strengthens our ability to tackle the longer term challenges posed by climate change and population growth, at the same time as being responsible custodians of Southern England’s rivers and seas. With our long term shareholders’ support, we are fully committed to protecting the local environment and providing the quality of service our customers deserve.”

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