Sale of Transco’s networks may take longer

Oct 16, 2004 02:00 AM

National Grid Transco warned the £ 5.8 bn sale of four of its gas distribution networks may take longer to complete than first expected.
The group said discussions with watchdog Ofgem had shown the regulatory approvals required for the deal to be more extensive. National Grid previously hoped to complete the transactions by April but has now widened the timeframe to cover the whole of the second quarter of 2005.

As well as Britain's natural gas transportation system, National Grid owns and operates the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. The company believes the sale of the networks -- inherited following its £ 14 bn merger with Transco owner Lattice in 2002 -- will enhance competitiveness and drive down prices for customers.
The deals include the sale of the North of England distribution network to a consortium involving United Utilities for £ 1.4 bn.

The Wales and West network will be bought by a group led by Macquarie Bank for £ 1.2 bn, while Scottish & Southern Energy is involved in the £ 3.2 bn acquisition of the Scotland and South of England networks.
Scottish & Southern expects to become the second largest energy distribution company in the UK with the deals also providing efficiency benefits with its existing electricity distribution arms in the two regions. Around 4,000 workers will be affected by the deals.

Source: PIN
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