Hong Kong Conglomerate Buys Cambridge Water

May 7, 2004

The highly acquisitive Hong Kong utility Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI) has made its first foray into the water assets in the UK by acquiring Cambridge Water in a deal worth £51.375m ($92M US).

Cambridge Water has a long-established record of service dating back to 1853. It has an integrated distribution system that includes seven service reservoirs, 10 water towers and 2,200 km of water mains, supplying a population of around 298,000 in an area that spans over 1,173 sq km.

The company was previously owned by Madrid-listed Union Fenosa.

According to the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys in the UK, population growth within Cambridge Water’s area has been one of the highest in the past two decades, with a cumulative annual growth rate four times the UK’s average.

The growth of Cambridge Water’s customer base is anticipated to be one of the highest in the UK. Cambridge is one of the largest employment centers in the region with about 80,000 jobs, and the area is displaying rapid economic growth – particularly in knowledge-based businesses around Cambridge University.

H L Kam, CKI’s group managing director, said, "CKI has always shown an interest in water assets and this acquisition marks a major milestone for the company. We have been vigorously seeking quality water projects for some time."

Source: Business Weekly

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