By Geraldine Amiel
PARIS--Veolia Environnement SA (VE) Thursday sold its U.K. regulated water activities to Rift Acquisitions Ltd., an entity formed by Infracapital Partners, a unit of Prudential PLC (PUK) and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, a unit of Morgan Stanley (MS), for a total 1.24 billion pounds ($1.94 billion).
The transaction is expected to be finalized as of Thursday as it isn't subject to any condition and should allow the French waste and water utility to cut is net debt by EUR1.45 billion, it said in a statement.
The disposal is the first of a series of planned assets sales as Veolia, the world's largest environment utility in terms of revenue, has been battling to restore profitability and its financial room for maneuver since an accounting fraud in the U.S. and substantial write-offs last year forced the group to reconsider its expansion and its exposure.
People familiar to the matter had told Dow Jones Newswires two weeks earlier that a transaction on the U.K. regulated water business was likely to take place early in the summer.
Veolia Thursday said that, in addition to its non-regulated water business, it will retain a 10% equity interest in the regulated business through Veolia Water UK for at least five years.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 28, 2012 03:07 ET (07:07 GMT)
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