Vivendi Water and First Aqua (JVCo) (Southern Water)

Competition Commission report (several PDF files) into the proposed acquisition of Southern Water by Vivendi Water (now known as Veolia).

The merger would have brought the following under common ownership:

The Commission found that the transaction would operate against the public interest by prejudicing Ofwat's ability to make comparisons between different water enterprises.

A a majority of the Commission inquiry panel thought that Vivendi's disposal of its interest in South Staffordshire Water would be sufficient to remedy this detriment.

The Secretary of State (who had to make the decision under the then-applicable Fair Trading Act 1973), with Ofwat's support, sought greater remedies such as the divestment of Three Valleys or the creation and divestment of a new Hampshire water company. Vivendi abandoned the transaction.

See Water mergers for background and other cases.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Competition Commission, Merger control, Water.

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