BusinessCompany NewsUnited Utilities sells Vertex for £217.5m

United Utilities sells Vertex for £217.5m

Water and electricity giant announces deal with private equity consortium for its business process outsourcing unit

United Utilities (UU) has sold
Vertex, its business process outsourcing unit to a private equity consortium
spearheaded by US-based
Oak Hill Capital
in a deal worth £217.5m. 

Speculation increased that the FTSE 100 corporate was considering offloading
Vertex when it emerged that it had hired investment bank
Merrill
Lynch
as a financial adviser following several bid offers for the unit. UU,
which employs 17,000 people, confirmed that it was selling off the unit in
December.

The company said: ‘United Utilities announced at its 2006/07 interim results,
on 5 December 2006, that the board had taken the strategic decision to initiate
a process for the divestment of Vertex. It believes that the interests of United
Utilities’ shareholders are best served by concentrating on the group’s core
skills of managing water, wastewater, electricity and gas networks. This
transaction is consistent with that strategy.’

The winning bidders signed a definitive agreement to acquire Vertex for a
maximum consideration of £217.5m deal ‘comprising cash, the repayment of
intra-group debt and the assumption of certain Vertex liabilities,’ the company
reported. Subject to regulatory requirements, the deal is expected to be wrapped
up by the end of March.

Further reading:

Outsourcing: out of sight, out of
mind
 

Sainsbury’s saves on IT after ditching
Accenture
 

Internal controls: by the buy

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