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CMA clears National Grid acquisition of WPD

National Grid is acquiring WPD as part its wider strategy to focus on transmission and distribution. Image: National Grid.

National Grid is acquiring WPD as part its wider strategy to focus on transmission and distribution. Image: National Grid.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared National Grid’s acquisition of Western Power Distribution (WPD).

On 1 September the government body confirmed that the acquisition can go ahead, having issued an initial enforcement order in June and the launched a merger inquiry in July.

The acquisition for an equity value of £7.8 billion was first announced in March, and forms part of a strategic transformation for National Grid. It is planning to focus more on electricity transmission and distribution, selling its majority stake in National Grid Gas plc.

Previous investigations by the CMA into other high profile acquisitions in the energy sector include a proposed merger between SSE Energy Services and npower that then fell through after Ofgem’s price cap on standard variable tariffs impacted on the financial particulars of the deal, the later acquisition of SSE Energy Services by OVO and the asset swap between E.ON and RWE.

In a statement National Grid said it is “pleased to note the announcement” and will be hosting a Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts on 18 November. At this it will share its plans for WPD alongside the wider group.

The full text of the CMA’s decision will be available in due course it stated.

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