Affinity Water has become the latest water company to announce it is considering removing its Cayman Islands financing subsidiary from its structure.
The water only company announced today (23 August) that it intends to substitute Affinity Water Programme Finance Limited (AWPFL) with a UK registered subsidiary. It has appointed advisers to develop its proposals.
AWPFL was established in 2013 to raise long-term finance for Affinity Water’s investment programme and operations through the issue of bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.
It was incorporated outside the UK for legal reasons that are no longer relevant, the company said.
Affinity’s board considers the removal of the Cayman Islands entity from its financing structure to be in the “interests of customers and wider stakeholders”.
The company now has a new chief executive at the helm after Pauline Walsh replaced Simon Cocks at the end of April. She joined from National Grid where she was director of gas transmission, responsible for building and maintaining the assets of the UK’s high-pressure national gas transmission system.
Prior to joining National Grid in 2015, Walsh held senior leadership roles at Havells-Sylvania, Fred. Olsen, Phillips Electronics and the Ford Motor Company.
Cocks, who has more than 30 years’ experience of the water, energy and telecoms infrastructure industries has remained on Affinity’s board as a non-executive director.
He was previously water services director and managing director at Severn Trent Water. Prior to that he held several senior executive positions at National Grid, working internationally in the USA and Europe.
Water companies are making steady progress in winding up their Cayman Islands subsidiaries as they try to improve transparency and rebuild trust with their customers.
Anglian Water completed the removal of its overseas financial structure in June this year. It took just under three months after it announced plans to “speed up” the removal in March, as part of a wider transparency overhaul.
Yorkshire Water is thought to have transferred £3 billion of bonds and US Private Placement notes into a new UK incorporated company last month after it received an “unequivocal vote” of approval from its bondholders in June to proceed with the closure.