Water company sale in UK ends acquisition chain

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LONDON, England, Oct. 4, 2011 -- Waterworks company South Staffordshire Plc has today acquired Cambridge Water for an undisclosed sum after the firm was bought by HSBC back in August.

As South Staffordshire Plc already owns South Staffordshire Water (SSW), the acquisition - unconditional at this stage - will be referred to the Competition Commission.

This purchase ends a long chain of market activity involving the companies, with Cambridge Water's parent firm Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) selling the firm to HSBC two months ago.

The acquisition is expected to take six months to complete, during which time the two companies will continue to operate independently. A statement on South Staffordshire's website stated that no staff changes were planned as a result of the change in ownership.

Adrian Page, executive director of South Staffordshire, said: “Cambridge Water has sought and received assurances from us that the company will continue to be operated with a view to maintaining the current high standards of service delivery. South Staffordshire is concerned to protect the integrity of Cambridge Water, an objective shared by the local non-executive directors and the management of the company.”

Cambridge Water supplies drinking water to 310,000 people in the city of Cambridge and the surrounding area and is approximately a quarter of the size of SSW.

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