EUROPE WATER IN BRIEF
- From: Vol 13, Issue 5 (May 2012)
- Category: Brief
- Region: Europe
- Country: Germany and Ireland
- Related Companies: Berlinwasser, Bristol Water, Capstone Infrastructure Corporation, Irish Water, Kemira, RWE, Séché Environnement and Suez Environment
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Capstone Infrastructure Corporation had offloaded 20% of Bristol Water to Itochu just six months after buying a 70% stake in the company from Suez Environnement.
The deal, worth $68 million, will provide Capstone with just under half the funds it requires to pay down the Can$150 million (US$150 million) loan it took out to finance the deal, on which a punitive interest rate step-up clause kicks in this July. Capstone may raise holding company debt at Bristol Water to raise part of the remaining cash.
- The City of Berlin has reportedly set a price of €618 million for the repurchase of RWE’s 24.95% stake in Berliner Wasserbetriebe – considerably lower than the €800 million figure the company had been holding out for. The reality that the final price could end up well below the starting figure comes as a further blow to RWE, which is looking to realise €7 billion of divestments by the end of 2013.
- Shares in Finnish water chemicals supplier Kemira dropped by 4% after the company announced a decline in profits for the first quarter of 2012, and revised its full-year outlook downwards. Operative EBIT was down 15% to €38.2 million on flat revenues of €552.9 million, meaning the company still has some way to go to reach its stated goal of a 10% EBIT margin. Kemira’s 2012 revenue and operative EBIT are expected to be approximately flat to 2011.
- Séché Environnement has been dealt a further blow in its bid to take control of Saur, after Saur’s remaining shareholders (Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement, Axa Private Equity and Cube) informed Séché Environnement CEO Joël Séché that his term of office as Saur chairman would not be renewed after a call option on Saur’s stock expires on 26 May 2012.
- The Irish government revealed last month that Irish Water will function as an independent subsidiary within the Bord Gáis Eireann group, and will thus benefit from BGE’s experience in customer billing, asset management and raising wholesale finance. A government official told GWI that it remains undecided whether Irish Water will borrow under its own name on the capital markets, or whether BGE will borrow on its behalf and onlend the proceeds.