New business expected to generate £500 million turnover

Wave — a joint venture between Anglian Water Business (AWB) and Northumbrian Water Group Business (NWGB) — has been granted unconditional clearance by the Competitions and Markets Authority.

The 50/50 JV is expected to be completed by the end of August. The new company is expected to have a turnover of more than £500 million and an estimated 19 per cent share of the UK market.

The companies say they will combine their expertise to create a “highly efficient” business offering customers “significantly simpler management of their utility services”.

Lucy Darch, managing director of NWGB, will become chief executive of Wave.

“Wave will be able to offer customers an unrivalled breadth of ability and knowledge to help them achieve greater efficiency in utility management,” she said.

AWBN’s managing director, Bob Wilson, will step down from his position after 20 years but will work closely with Darch throughout the transition.

Lee Shipsey, AWB director of sales and marketing, will become deputy chief executive of the new company.

“By joining forces we will be well placed to deliver great services and products that will give businesses everything they need to understand and manage their water and energy consumption better,” said Shipsey.

The partnership follows the opening of the retail water market to competition in April 2017. NWGB had originally planned to rebrand as Wave, but said in January that it had halted those plans so as to be “more identifiable to customers” when the market opens.

This is the second deal of its kind, after Severn Trent and United Utilities joined forces last year to create Water Plus.