Investment bank acquires Southern Water, promising ‘zero tolerance’ to pollution

Investment bank Macquarie has promised a “zero-tolerance mindset” to environmental pollution at Southern Water, after acquiring a majority stake in the utility, which is facing mounting criticism over its pollution track record.

In an announcement today, Macquarie said it will invest over £1 billion in new equity to provide a capital injection into the utility company and implement a “more sustainable financing strategy”.

The firm, which was found by a BBC investigation in 2017 to have left Thames Water with an extra £2bn debt burden, said that its investment will enable Southern Water to upgrade its network, with £2bn to be invested over the next four years of the current regulatory period, “to fix the pipes, pumping stations, and sewers which are underperforming and causing harm to the local environment”.  

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