Water company sold in �1.2bn deal

A WATER company which supplies Comet country residents has been bought in a deal worth �1.2bn.

Veolia Environnement has sold a majority stake in its UK regulated water businesses – Veolia Water Central, East and Southeast – to consortium Rift Acquistions.

The takeover will result in a change of name and brand over the coming weeks, although it is not yet known to what.

A spokesman for Veolia Water Central said he expected it to be “business as usual” and that job losses were not planned.

He said: “As far as we’re concerned the company is buying us as a going concern and is fully committed to supporting us to provide the highest level of service.”

Veolia’s three million customers will see little difference too, especially as water prices are regulated by Ofwat, not individual companies.

The spokesman said: “Although the name will be different, customers should be unaffected by the change in ownership.

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“The tariffs charged to customers for their water service will continue to be determined by the industry regulator, Ofwat.”

As part of the sale, Veolia has retained a 10 per cent shareholding in the business.

The French firm will now focus on its commercial outsourcing business.

Rift Acquisitions is a consortium led by Infracapital Partners and Morgan Stanley Infracstructure Partners.

Infracapital is the infrastructure investment fund managed by M&G (the European investment arm of Prudential plc).