Severn Trent and United Utilities Join Joint Venture

Stoke-based water supplier United Utilities is teaming up with the Coventry-based Severn Trent to form a joint venture aimed at capitalising on the official opening up of the commercial water market in April next year.

The opening of the commercial water market will give 1.2 million businesses the freedom to choose their supplier and this new business venture is designed to bring together the business market teams from Severn Trent and United Utilities in Stoke-on-Trent.

Sue Amies-King, currently business retail director at United Utilities, will be the chief executive, while the head of finance and business planning for business services at Severn Trent, Stuart Howell, will be chief financial officer.

Severn Trent currently has 4.2 million customers in the Midlands and Wales, while United Utilities provides water and sewage to a further 7 million in the North West of England.

The business market in Scotland has been open to competition since 2008 and both companies have successfully entered the market since.

Before it can go ahead the joint venture still has to be approved by the Competition and Markets Authority, but both companies are confident they will quickly gain approval.

Upon completion of the transaction, Severn Trent is expected to pay £3.5 million to establish the 50/50 venture.

Live Garfield, chief executive of Severn Trent, said: “We firmly believe this innovative joint venture can give customers a market-leading experience. Together, we can become one of the most effective players in this exciting new market, while also ensuring our future customers across the UK get the best possible service.”