£8bn auction for
By Lina Saigol and Rebecca Bream
Published: October 17 2006 03:00 | Last
updated: October 17 2006 03:00
Macquarie, the Australian bank, last
night won the hotly contested auction for Thames Water, the
Macquarie's European infrastructure fund
is leading aconsortium called Kemble Water, which bid the highest price
It beat three other serious bidders in
the auction, including Qatar Investment Authority, which had teamed up
with UBS's global infrastructure fund.
The deal marks the biggest buy-out in the
Terra Firma, the private equity group
headed by Guy Hands, had also bid for the asset, as had Alinta, the
Australian energy group. Alinta was planning to launch a A$5bn (£2bn)
share issue to fund the deal if it had won.
Final fully financed bids were submitted
RWE had been running a dual-track process
Goldman Sachs had been appointed to carry
out the sale, while Deutsche Bank had been handling a potential initial
RWE bought Thames, which has more than
13m customers across
The German utility said this year that it
In July Ofwat ordered
RWE is also selling American Water, its
Stocks in these companies have risen
sharply on the back of takeover speculation.
AWG, which owns Anglian Water, is also in
play, having received a £2.2bn bid from Osprey, a consortium comprising
Australian and Canadian infrastructure and pension funds.
The losing bidders for