Electricity North West owners First State Investments and J P Morgan Asset Management have agreed to sell 50% of the company to Equitix and a consortium led by Kansai Electric Power Co. The other consortium members are Daiwa Energy & Infrastructure Co. Ltd (a subsidiary of Daiwa Securities Group Ltd) and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company (which recently took an equity investment in the Moray East offshore wind farm alongside Kepco).
Hiroshi Nakajima, managing executive officer, International Business and Cooperation Division, Kansai Electric Power Company, said: “This is the first case of Japanese electric utility companies entering into an overseas major electricity distribution network operator business. 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.”
Hugh Crossley, chief investment officer at Equitix, said, “We are excited to partner with Kansai to acquire this stake in Electricity North West. Our partnership brings strong strategic and asset management expertise which will help fuel growth and sustained outperformance for one of the UK’s premier distribution network operators, while providing a great service for customers.”
First State Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management have owned the company since 2007. John Roberts, chair of Electricity North West, said: “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.”
Niall Mills, partner at First State Investments, said: “The signing of this agreement marks a significant step in our 12-year journey with Electricity North West, allowing First State and J.P. Morgan Asset Management to realise value for the investors we advise, while also retaining an interest in the business. We welcome our new partners as shareholders.”