Pennon adds water company to portfolio

South West Water headquarters. Ref mhh 0001-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

South West Water headquarters. Ref mhh 0001-27-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Pennon Group announced this week that it has acquired 100 per cent of Bristol Water for £425 million.
The acquisition is a strong strategic fit for the group, which already owns South West Water and Bournemouth Water.
As one of the largest companies in the South West, Bristol Water is geographically co-located to the region and cements Pennon as a leader in the sector.
Also announced is a further £100m investment in South West Water to support the Green Recovery. The plan will create up to 500 new jobs, support the wider supply chain and help the region’s economy recover and protect the environment.
Some of the key focus areas of the Green Recovery initiative are to:
Take action to eliminate harm from storm overflows
To trial improvements to river quality to match standards of bathing waters
Deliver low carbon water treatment works to contribute to ambitious Net Zero commitment.
The initiative will also focus on restoring more of the South West peatland to reduce carbon emissions and work to create smarter, healthier homes to help customers with water efficiency to reduce usage and bills.
Pennon Group have also confirmed that the remaining c.£1.5 billion from the landmark sale of Viridor last year, will be returned to shareholders as a special dividend.
A £0.4 billion share buy-back programme will be available, providing future flexibility for the Group to grow.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is an important next step in the evolution of the Group. It increases the size and scale of the Group to serve circa 3.5 million customers in our region. It also adds another 500 employees to the Group.
Commenting on the acquisition, Susan Davy, Group Chief Executive said: “As one of the South West’s largest businesses, this has been a pivotal year for the Group as we have refocused on driving sustainable growth in the UK water sector, building stability for the long term and recognising ongoing shareholder loyalty.
“We have ensured Pennon is well positioned for the future, delivering more for customers and communities. The acquisition of Bristol Water announced today is the next step in the growth of the Group, building on significant experience as a leader and responsible employer across the greater South West.”