Far East consortium takes full ownership of Electricity North West

John Roberts

A consortium led by Japan-based Kansai Electric Power Co Inc, London investment firm Equitix and Hong Kong investment vehicle CNIC, have taken full ownership of Electricity North West.

Stockport-based Electricity North West is the region’s electricity distribution network operator.

The new consortium has acquired the remaining 50% stake in the company for an undisclosed sum.

First State Investments and JP Morgan Asset Management advised the previous investors to sell their stake in the business.

This announcement follows the July 2019 acquisition of a 50% stake in Electricity North West by a Kansai-led consortium and Equitix from institutional investors advised by First State Investments and J. P. Morgan Asset Management.

Electricity North West said it is looking forward to working with the Kansai-led consortium, Equitix and CNIC to deliver the current price control which runs to 2023 and to create a plan for the next price control from 2023 to 2028 which delivers for customers and stakeholders, while providing value for shareholders.

Electricity North West provides services for five million people across the region and said it will continue to serve and prioritise both its communities and its employees.

Chair of Electricity North West, John Roberts, said: “We are a high performing organisation and I’m delighted that Equitix and the Kansai-led consortium are increasing their stake in the company, and that their confidence has attracted the additional commitment of CNIC.

“I am extremely proud of the contribution we make to the North West every day. This is down to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our people who continue to deliver industry-leading reliability and are set to enable the transition to a net-zero future across the region.”

Niall Mills, partner at First State Investments, said: “The signing of this agreement marks the end of our 12-year journey with Electricity North West.

“We are incredibly proud of the development of the business during this time and we believe Electricity North West is well positioned for future challenges ahead.”

Hiroshi Nakajima, managing executive officer, international business and cooperation division, Kansai Electric Power Company, said: “We look forward to cooperating with all of the shareholders and to making a deeper contribution to Electricity North West.

“Presently we have succeeded in forming a long-term partnership structure. Kansai aims to develop a long-term and strategic collaboration with Electricity North West to create solutions that proactively address the current challenges to distribution networks.”

Hugh Crossley, chief investment officer for Equitix, said: “We are delighted to be increasing our investment in Electricity North West, one of the UK’s premier distribution network operators.

“We are impressed by its commitment to outperformance, innovation and investment in the network, and to providing an excellent service for its customers. As a long-term investor we are fully committed to supporting those aims for the benefit of all stakeholders.”