Institutional investors in Electricity North West (ENW) have agreed a deal to sell a 50% stake in the business, bringing an end to a long-running strategic review.
Infrastructure investment firm Equitix and a consortium of investors led by Japanese power firm Kansai Electric Power have acquired a 50% stake in ENW, which had been owned by First State Investments and JP Morgan Asset Management for more than 10 years.
Having originally acquired the distribution network operator in 2007, speculation surrounding JP Morgan and First State’s ownership of ENW has been ongoing since October last year, when Sky News reported that external advisers had been brought in to conduct a strategic review of the business, pending a possible sale.
ENW said that today’s conclusion of that review would see the parties now focus on establishing a plan for both the current price control period out to 2023 and RIIO-2, which will run until 2028.
“We are a high performing organisation and I’m delighted that First State Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are showing ongoing confidence in and commitment to our Company. I’m also delighted to welcome the addition of the Kansai-led consortium and Equitix and look forward to working closely with them,” John Roberts, chair at ENW, said.
Hiroshi Nakajima, managing executive officer at Kansai’s international and cooperation division, meanwhile lauded the transaction as being the first case of a Japanese electric utility entering an overseas distribution network operator market.
“We aim to develop a long term and strategic collaboration with Electricity North West to create solutions to proactively address the current challenges to distribution networks which include smart cities, electric vehicles and virtual power,” he said.