By Powerscourt on 12/01/2024


Powerscourt is pleased to support Pennon Group, the owner of South West Water, Bristol Water and Bournemouth Water, on its acquisition of Sutton and East Surrey Water (“SES Water”), the drinking water only supplier in the South East of England.

Pennon Group plc is a FTSE 250 listed UK focused environmental infrastructure group, comprising South West Water (incorporating Bristol Water and Bournemouth Water), Pennon Water Services, Pennon Power, a stake in Water2business and now including SES Water and a number of other ancillary businesses which make up the Acquisition.

SES Water is a drinking water only supplier in the South East, supplying 160 million litres of clean water every day to around 750,000 customers across East Surrey, West Sussex, West Kent and South London. The Group employs 476 staff and is headquartered in Redhill, Surrey. It was put up for sale last year, by its owners Sumisho Osaka Gas Water UK Limited.

As part of the acquisition, Pennon announced an equity capital raise, raising gross proceeds of approximately £180 million, with the ambition to provide an equity injection to enhance SES Water’s financial resilience, bringing their gearing from 88% to within Pennon’s well-established water business gearing range of 55% to 65%.

The Powerscourt teams, comprising James White, Pete Lambie, Luke Thompson, Nicholas Johnson, Molly Melville and Isabel Ralphs, are supporting Pennon on the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval.

James White, Director and Head of Industrials & Support Services, said:

“This is an important transaction in the water sector that will provide SES Water’s customers with continuity and confidence in their service provider. It also reaffirms Pennon’s commitment to the UK water sector at a time when the business has already submitted its largest ever investment plan of £2.8 billion for the next regulatory period, a plan which will create 2,000 new jobs.

“This transaction is the latest piece of M&A the Powerscourt Industrials and Support Services team has advised on following our work last year for German food manufacturer Saria on their £692 million takeover of sausage skin maker Devro and US car dealership Lithia’s proposed £397 million investment in Pendragon.”