Infrastructure investment manager Ancala Partners has completed its acquisition of Portsmouth Water.

Utility Week understands the deal, believed to be worth between £150 million and £160 million was signed off on Friday 16 March.

Ancala announced it had agreed to acquire South Downs Capital, the parent company of the independent water only firm on 20 February.

Neville Smith, managing director at Portsmouth Water, told Utility Week: “We are delighted that the transaction has now completed and that we can dedicate our energies 100 per cent to the next stage of our growth with Ancala. We now have in place a strong foundation for our continued success.”

Through the acquisition, Ancala said it will support Portsmouth Water in continuing to “deliver on its strategy to be the best water company in the UK”.

The investment will allow the water company to pursue growth opportunities, which Ancala suggested could include utilising Portsmouth’s “privileged water resource position” for the benefit of its customers, as well as neighbouring areas through the provision of bulk supplies.

Ancala missed out on acquiring Dee Valley Water in February last year, after it entered into a bidding war with Severn Trent – which eventually paid £84 million to secure the deal.

David Owens, industry partner at Ancala Partners and a former chief executive at Thames Water, will now join the board of Portsmouth Water as a non-executive director following completion of the transaction.

Last week, Ancala announced it had also acquired Aquatrine Package A (Aquatrine) from Kelda Water Services, a subsidiary of Kelda Group.

Aquatrine delivers one of the largest water and wastewater Private Finance Initiative contracts in Europe for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

It provides water, wastewater, fire system maintenance and specialist estate management services to the MOD and customers in the MOD estate, across more than 1,100 sites in Wales, South West England and parts of the Midlands and South East England.

The company will be rebranded as Ancala Water Services (AWS) with immediate effect. The asset base covered by the contract includes boreholes, reservoirs, surface water pumping stations, sewage pumping stations, treatment works, distribution mains, oil and water interceptors, sewers and meters.

Ancala said it will support the existing management team led by David Godfrey to continue to “provide excellence” to the MOD through “improved customer service delivery.”

Owens will also join the AWS board as chairman.

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