Macquarie sets Thames stake sale rolling

Australian infrastructure investor, Macquarie, has begun its search for buyers of its 26% holding in Thames Water.

Earlier indications had been that Macquarie was seeking some £3 billion for its stake in the company currently capitalised at close to £12 billion. But the Financial Times recently claimed its sources had the anticipated price at less than half that.

The company has debts of some £10 billion following a decade of heavy investment by Macquarie in Thames’ infrastructure. Indicative bids are expected in July from a range of interested groups with a sale completed at the end of the year according to the FT.

The sale is being handled by bank, Nomura. Thames has indicated that its existing shareholders including the BT pension fund, with a 13% stake, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, with 9.9%, and the China Investment Corporation, which holds 8.7% would have first refusal on the stock.