July 1, 2022

DealBook: Li Ka-shing Group Offers $3.8 Billion for British Utility

Li Ka-shing, a self-made billionaire, controls some of Hong Kong’s largest companies.Mike Clarke/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesLi Ka-shing, a self-made billionaire, controls some of Hong Kong’s largest companies.

Northumbrian Water, a British utility, said on Monday that it had received a takeover proposal worth $3.8 billion from a company controlled by Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man.

The water company, which has about 4.4 million customers in Britain, said Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings made a nonbinding takeover proposal bid of £4.65 a share, or £2.4 billion. That is 9.1 percent above Northumbrian’s closing share price on Friday.

“The board of Northumbrian Water has agreed to grant C.K.I. a limited period to undertake confirmatory due diligence,” Northumbrian said in a statement. “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made.”

Cheung Kong Infrastructure announced on July 1 that it was interested in making an offer for Northumbrian Water, but added that it would first seek to complete its acquisition of Cambridge Water, which it bought in 2004, before taking any further steps.

Under the proposal, shareholders in Northumbrian would receive a dividend of 9.57 pence a share on Sept. 9.

The Hong Kong company’s investments include electricity, natural gas, water and infrastructure assets in New Zealand, Australia, China and Canada. In Britain, it owns a 50 percent stake in the Seabank Power station near Bristol.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=998686bcb0606c78e10e845ea8973d95