Leep Utilities is a joint-venture between Ancala Partners, a mid-market infrastructure investment manager, and property giant Peel Group. Leep owns and operates regulated and non-regulated utility networks, including electricity, water and district heating networks, with a portfolio of sites across the country.
SSE Water was established in 2008 under licence from Ofwat. It owns water networks that supply around 20,000 customers across 28 sites in southern England and Wales. It is the largest NAV company operating in the UK’s water sector.
Leep will combine SSE Water with its own operations in the sector, which includes two networks (or insets) at Manchester’s MediaCityUK and Liverpool International Business Park.
Leep Utilities managing director Louise Manfredi said: “This purchase will make Leep the leading NAV operator in the UK market and the transaction speaks to the high conviction that we have in the benefits that successful NAV operators can deliver to UK developers, customers and society. We plan to continue to provide best-in-class customer service to our expanded water inset customer base as well as to deliver new ‘straightforward connections’ to developers and connection providers across the country.”
Ancala Partners managing partner Spence Clunie said: “NAV companies are currently under-represented compared to incumbents in the market for new water connections in the UK. We have high conviction in the growth of the NAV market and Ofwat’s initiatives to encourage a successfully functioning NAV market should support the growth of the SSE Water business. There is tremendous potential in delivering water and waste water networks more quickly and efficiently to developers whilst improving service and value to end-customers. This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for us to be the leading operator in the NAV sector.”
The transaction is expected to complete by the end of March and is conditional on the usual approvals.