UK water company Portsmouth Water acquisition by Ancala Partners

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UK water company Portsmouth Water is being acquired by investment manager Ancala Partners.

The utility serves a domestic population of more than 700,000 people in the central south coast region of the UK, as well as providing wholesale water suppliers to industrial and commercial customers. Ancala, which describes itself as an independent mid-market infrastructure investment manager, has announced the agreement of the purchase of South Downs Capital Ltd, the ultimate parent company of Portsmouth Water, with the acquisition due to be completed in March 2018.

According to Ancala, it will support Portsmouth Water in its ongoing strategy to be the best water company in the UK. It stated also that the investment would allow the utility to pursue growth opportunities by providing access to additional capital, including using the company’s privileged water resource position to provide bulk supplies to Portsmouth Water customers and neighbouring areas.

In the statement released by Ancala, Partner Lee Mellor is quoted as commenting: ‘Portsmouth Water is an excellent fit with our core investment strategy, which targets mid-market infrastructure businesses that deliver long-term, inflation-linked cashflows.’

Another partner at Ancala, David Owens, a former CEO at Thames Water, will join the board of Portsmouth Water as a non-executive director. He is quoted as commenting: ‘We fully support Portsmouth Water in its plans for future development of the business and we share the company’s values and commitment to outstanding customer service.’

Portsmouth Water, originally formed in 1857, serves some 316,000 properties. It is majority owned by its Employee Benefits Trust, with the remainder of the shares owned by a number of individuals, including current and former Directors and their beneficiaries.


  • Portsmouth Water, UK