Thames buyers stress their track records and long-term interest

A consortium of two infrastructure investors has bought Macquarie’s remaining stake in Thames Water for an undisclosed sum.

Borealis Infrastructure and Wren House Infrastructure Management announced their acquisition of Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets’ 26% stake in Kemble Water Holdings, the ultimate holding company of Thames Water mid month. Macquarie has been seeking a suitable buyer for some time.

In a statement, Borealis and Wren House emphasised their track records as long term investors in critical UK infrastructure. They currently have investments in London City Airport, Associated British Ports, SGN, Belfast International Airport and High Speed 1. Outside of the UK, the consortium members have significant experience as investors in major regulated utilities including in Canada, the USA, Australia, Spain, Sweden and Finland.

The buyers also stressed their commitment to “the responsible, long-term ownership and development of Thames Water” pointing to their “strong track record of investing in and growing excellent businesses, maintaining good relationships with customers, staff, management, regulators and other stakeholders”.

In its statement, Macquarie said it had left Thames “a better, stronger and more customer focused business than that which we invested in back in 2006”. It pointed to capital investment of £1bn a year on average over the 11 years of its holding, which was “72% more than the period after privatisation until MIRA first invested in Thames Water in 2006”. It also noted that Thames customers pay the third lowest charges in England and pointed to operational highlights including leakage down 25%, major improvements at five large sewage works serving London, delivery of the Lee Tunnel and early work on the Thames Tideway Tunnel.