Leep Utilities, an independent multi-utility operator, announced that it has agreed to purchase SSE Water, a New Appointments and Variations (NAV) company, from SSE.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of March and is conditional on approvals typical of a transaction of this nature.
Leep Utilities is a joint-venture between Ancala, the mid-market infrastructure investment manager, and the Peel, a private real estate investment and infrastructure company.
Ancala Partners managing partner Spence Clunie commented: “NAV companies are currently under-represented compared to incumbents in the market for new water connections in the UK. We have high conviction in the growth of the NAV market and Ofwat’s initiatives to encourage a successfully functioning NAV market should support the growth of the SSE Water business.
“There is tremendous potential in delivering water and waste water networks more quickly and efficiently to developers whilst improving service and value to end-customers. This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for us to be the leading operator in the NAV sector.”
Leep owns and operates various types of regulated and non-regulated utility networks, including electricity, water and district heating networks, with a portfolio of sites across the country.
Leep Utilities managing director Louise Manfredi said: “Leep is delighted to be acquiring SSE Water. This purchase will make Leep the leading NAV operator in the UK market and the transaction speaks to the high conviction that we have in the benefits that successful NAV operators can deliver to UK developers, customers and society.
“We plan to continue to provide best-in-class customer service to our expanded water inset customer base as well as to deliver new ‘straightforward connections’ to developers and connection providers across the country.”
In 2008, SSE Water was established under license from Ofwat and owns water networks that supply around 20,000 customers across 28 sites in southern England and Wales. SSE Water is one of largest NAV companies operating in the UK’s water sector.
SSE Enterprise managing director Nathan Sanders said: “Thanks to the team at SSE Water for the strong contribution to Enterprise over the last decade and I know they will be a success as part of Leep, continuing to provide an excellent service to their customers.”
Leep is expected to combine SSE Water with its own operations in the sector, including two networks, or ‘insets’, at MediaCity, UK and Liverpool International Business Park.
The acquisition is expected to further strengthen the company’s expertise and allow it to provide a multi-utility adoption offering to developers across the UK.