Global investment firm, KKR, has agreed to sell its 75 per cent equity stake in South Staffordshire plc, the parent company of South Staffs Water, to Arjun Infrastructure Partners (AIP) for an undisclosed sum.
South Staffordshire plc comprises South Staffs Water (SSW) and a non-regulated business, which includes SSI Services and Echo Managed Services.
SSW supplies water to around 1.6 million customers in the South Staffordshire and Cambridge regions, while the non-regulated business provides “contractual special services” to the UK water sector.
South Staffordshire plc said it is committed to serving and supporting its customers and the local community. Last year the business provided support to more than 23,000 customers in debt, helping them manage their water accounts. It introduced the “Assure” social tariff to offer a discount on bills based on income and expenditure.
The company said it has also “invested significantly” in the areas it serves, having supported the introduction of the £1 billion North West Cambridge development by supplying homes and community facilities with the UK’s largest rainwater recycling scheme.
Ram Kumar, chairman of South Staffordshire plc and a senior member of KKR’s infrastructure team, said: “South Staffordshire has a long and successful track record as a UK water utility, and KKR is proud to have been involved with it over the past five years. During our ownership, we have enabled the company to enhance the quality and reliability of its water supply, support its customers and invest in environmentally sustainable operations.
“We are confident that the company is well positioned to continue delivering on its social commitments under AIP’s majority ownership.”
Adrian Page, group chief executive, added: “We are delighted to have successfully worked with the team at KKR over the past five years. We welcome Arjun as a long-term investor based in the UK and are looking forward to working with them and maintaining our position as a leading company in the UK water sector.”
Surinder Toor, founding partner of AIP, said: “We are very pleased to have completed this investment on behalf of our investors, who are all natural long-term owners of infrastructure businesses.
“We recognise that South Staffordshire plc is a high quality water utility and we are excited to be working alongside the management team and the existing shareholder, Mitsubishi Corporation. Our priority will be to support Adrian Page and his team in continuing to deliver for their customers and the local community.”
AIP is an independent infrastructure investment advisory company. KKR’s equity stake will be sold to pension funds and other “institutional” investors advised by AIP.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and clearances.