Exeter-based Pennon Group plc and Walsall-based South Staffordshire Plc Group (SSG) have today announced a joint venture (JV) that will create a bigger combined non-household water retail business operating as Pennon Water Services (PWS).
The partnership is part of plans to increase PWS’s scale and competitiveness for retail market opening from April 2017, when businesses and other non-household customers in England will be able to choose who they buy their water and waste water services from.
As part of the joint venture (JV), Pennon will retain an 80% equity stake in the enlarged PWS, with SSG taking the remaining 20%.
The JV will deliver a combined customer base of 180,000 accounts, making PWS the 4th largest retailer in the non-household retail water market, with 8% market share.
Pennon’s Chief Executive Chris Loughlin said: “We’ve made no secret of our ambition to develop our presence in the water market as we prepare for retail market opening next April. We’re pleased to team up with the South Staffordshire Group, combining our expertise and creating a bigger business retailer, with excellent growth potential.”
Adrian Page, Chief Executive at South Staffordshire Plc, added: “We’re delighted to join forces with Pennon. This joint venture will deliver a bigger national footprint and increased opportunities for growth and service delivery.”
SSG, which includes South Staffs Water, Cambridge Water and Echo Managed Services, also owns the Rapid billing system which will continue to be used by the enlarged PWS business to service its customers.
Existing in-area trading names will be retained, with Source for Business being the out-of-area national brand name.
As is normal, the JV is subject to clearance.
Bournemouth-based PWS was formed following Pennon’s acquisition of Bournemouth Water and the subsequent merger of Bournemouth Water with South West Water in April 2016.