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Osprey £2.2bn bid for Anglian Water could face competition

05 Oct 2006

Reports suggest that a bidding war for Anglian Water may erupt after it emerged on Tuesday that several other parties have expressed an interest in the water company.

This is despite the board at AWG, owners of Anglian Water, recommending a £2.2bn bid from an investment consortium called Osprey.

Shares in AWG climbed 75bp to £16.20, much higher than the £15.55 a share offer from Osprey, after the water group confirmed new bid approaches from unnamed third parties.

However Osprey quickly asserted its advantage by buying 16.3m shares from AWG's largest investor, Invesco, taking its entire stake to 12.5%.

Australian infrastructure group Alinta is believed to be one of the new bidders and will be given the same access to the company's books.

The Osprey group comprises Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board and Colonial First State Global Asset Management, another Australian pension fund, with a 19.3% stake and 3i with a 16.1% stake.

05 Oct 2006