Hogan Lovells Advises Rift Acquisitions on £1.2bn Takeover of South East's Water Supplier

LONDON, 29 JUNE 2012 – LONDON, 28 JUNE 2012 – Hogan Lovells has successfully advised Rift Acquisitions Limited, formed by the consortium of Infracapital (managed by Prudential M&G) and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, on the £1.2 billion acquisition of three UK water businesses from French water and waste group Veolia Environment.

Infrastructure finance partner Andrew Briggs led the transaction which saw Rift Acquisitions buy Veolia Water Capital Funds, the subsidiary of Veolia Environment which controls the three businesses being sold.

Andrew was supported by corporate infrastructure colleagues Charles Ford, Philip Brown, Rachel Candler, Mark Nash, Florian Agnel and Emma Bosworth.   Matthew Levitt led on competition and regulatory matters.  On the debt side, Philip Robb led the team, supported by Tauhid Ijaz. Jo Robinson, Marianne Hourihane and Michael Stott.   Andy Treavett and Karen Hughes advised on tax aspects and Ed Bowyer and Judith Crate advised on employment and pensions.

Veolia Water UK, the UK’s second largest regulated water company, provides water services to some 3.5m people in northwest London and southeast England. Veolia Environment will retain a 10 per cent stake in Veolia Water for a period of five years as well its Veolia Water outsourcing business, which provides and will look to enhance services to other UK water suppliers.

Commenting on the deal, Andrew Briggs said:
"We are delighted to have supported two of the most active and influential infrastructure funds in the current market acquire an attractive and strategic asset."

The sale is the latest in a string of deals in the UK water sector, following last year’s £4.7 million takeover of Northumbrian Water by UK Water. Hogan Lovells successfully advised Northumbrian Water in relation to the takeover.

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