THE billionaire owner of Northumbria Water has extended his control over the UK’s infrastructure network with his purchase of gas company Wales and West Utilities.
A group of companies controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has paid £645m for the Welsh company as he continues to expand his business empire by buying into regulated infrastructure and utilities in the UK.
Property developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd said it had formed a joint venture with Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, Power Assets Holdings Ltd and the Li Ka Shing Foundation Ltd to buy the company, which is involved in the management of gas transportation assets and gas distribution in Wales and the southwest of England.
The deal adds to the billionaire’s assets in Britain which were bolstered by the purchase of Durham-based Northumbrian Water for £2.41bn last August. He also owns the gas distribution company that serves the North East, Northern Gas Networks.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to acquire another high-quality asset, which is poised to extend our growth momentum and generate recurring profit contributions similar to that of our other infrastructure projects,” said Kam Hing-lam, group managing director of Cheung Kong Infrastructure.
The deal is expected to be completed at the end of September subject to European Commission approval.