UK's Struggling Thames Water Says Efforts To Raise New Equity Continue

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Thames Water, Britain's biggest water supplier, said its efforts to raise new equity to ensure its survival continued but there would be no conclusion until the regulator made a final decision on how much it could raise bills for the next five years.

The company, which supplies about a quarter of the British population, is struggling under 16 billion pounds of debt. It was thrown into crisis in March when its owners said they would not provide a 500-million pound equity lifeline.

Its liquidity of 1.8 billion pounds ($2.31 billion) was sufficient to fund operations until the end of May 2025, it said on Tuesday.

Britain's new government could need to nationalise the company if it cannot secure new funding.

The crisis in Britain's privatised water industry has deepened this year as sewage releases into rivers and seas have become much more frequent after companies failed to invest enough in crumbling infrastructure.

Investors in Thames Water said in March that the business was "uninvestible".

Thames Water wants to hike customer bills by 40%, excluding inflation, over 2025-2030 to pay for infrastructure improvements and reduce sewage spills, but it needs the regulator Ofwat to agree.

Ofwat will make an initial decision on Thursday before a final determination is due in December.

"Following the draft determination and our response to Ofwat we will be engaging with potential investors and creditors to seek new equity and to extend our liquidity runway," Thames Water said. "Any equity process is not expected to conclude until after the final determination."

Thames Water said it had made an underlying profit after tax of 140 million pounds ($179 million) for the year to end March, but the number of pollution incidents had increased.


Khaleej Times

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