Japan-China consortium buys Electricity North West

Electricity North West announced on Tuesday that institutional investors advised by First State Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management have agreed to sell their remaining 50% stake in the company to investors composed of London investment firm Equitix, a consortium led by Japan’s Kansai Electric Power, and Hong Kong-based CNIC. 

This announcement follows the July 2019 acquisition of a 50% stake in Electricity North West by a Kansai-led consortium and Equitix from institutional investors advised by First State Investments and J. P. Morgan Asset Management. 

Warrington-based Electricity North West is one of 14 distribution network operators in the UK regulated by Ofgem and the majority of electricity enters its network from the UK National Grid.

Electricity North West is responsible for maintaining and upgrading 13,000 km of overhead power lines and more than 44,000 km of underground electricity cables and much more.

Electricity North West chair John Roberts said: “We are a high performing organisation and I’m delighted that Equitix and the Kansai-led consortium are increasing their stake in the company, and that their confidence has attracted the additional commitment of CNIC.”

Niall Mills, partner at First State Investments, said: “The signing of this agreement marks the end of our 12-year journey with Electricity North West. 

“We are incredibly proud of the development of the business during this time and we believe Electricity North West is well positioned for future challenges ahead.”

Hiroshi Nakajima, Managing Executive Officer, International Business and Cooperation Division, Kansai Electric Power Company said: “We look forward to cooperating with all of the shareholders and to making a deeper contribution to Electricity North West.

“Presently we have succeeded in forming a long-term partnership structure.

“Kansai aims to develop a long-term and strategic collaboration with Electricity North West to create solutions that proactively address the current challenges to distribution networks.”

Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer for Equitix said: “We are delighted to be increasing our investment in Electricity North West, one of the UK’s premier distribution network operators.

“We are impressed by its commitment to outperformance, innovation and investment in the network, and to providing an excellent service for its customers. 

“As a long-term investor we are fully committed to supporting those aims for the benefit of all stakeholders.”