Invicta Water, which trades as Water Choice in the non-domestic water retail market, has been acquired by Castle Water for an undisclosed sum.
The move will see 50,000 business customers in South East Water’s service area transfer to Castle Water in July.
Water Choice has been offering water and wastewater retail services to businesses across England since market opening just over a year ago.
It recently took over the business retail accounts previously managed by South East Water Choice – the retailer function of South East Water – in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire.
Tanya Sephton, managing director of Invicta Water, said: “Castle Water has the experience and scale to build on the foundations we have established since the water retail market opened last year. We are working closely with Castle Water to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of service for customers.”
Castle Water said it has already “successfully transferred more than 300,000 customers in England”.
It took over providing retail services to customers of Portsmouth Water in 2016 and Thames Water in 2017.
Iain McPherson, customer services director at Castle Water, said: “At Castle Water, we are committed to our customers and look forward to providing the same excellent service for businesses in the South East as we do elsewhere in the country.”
Castle Water chief executive, John Reynolds, added: “We have the resources to continuously improve systems and provide a wide range of assistance to help customers manage their water usage and minimise costs.”
Reynolds told Utility Week: “Castle Water will continue to look at opportunities to expand its business, including through acquisition, where it fits our strategy.
“All customers will receive a Castle Water bill going forwards – many South East Water customers are already invoiced for waste services by Castle Water.
“We are investing in ongoing offers to customers, provision of additional services, and brand advertising, and use of the Castle Water name will help customers recognise our services.”
The company now supplies thousands of customers across England. It was awarded a multi-million-pound contract with the Crown Commercial Service in November last year for the provision of water and wastewater services to the public sector in England.
David Hinton, asset and regulation director for South East Water, said: “South East Water is committed to providing an excellent wholesale service to all business retailers. We will work closely with both Castle Water and Invicta Water during this period to ensure a smooth transition.”
Utility Week understands South East Water has made a “commitment” to find all members of the Water Choice team, including its managing director Sephton, alternative roles within South East Water to “avoid job losses”.