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RWE tight-lipped over Thames sale rumours


UTILITIES ANALYSTS this week predicted that German firm RWE would put part of its stake in Thames Water up for sale on the stock market.

RWE would not comment on reports in the German press that some of its stake in Thames would be sold, but fell short of denying reports that a flotation was imminent.

It was reported that RWE's supervisory board would approve a sell off of Thames Water and American Water Works on Friday.

'RWE continually reviews its business strategies and modifies as necessary. This applies to RWE's entire business portfolio - be that power tations or water works, ' said an RWE spokesman.

RWE paid £5bn for Thames in 2000 and bought American Water Works for £2.6bn in 2001.

Analysts said it was likely that RWE would go for a partial sell off of the companies.

Both companies are just beginning new investment periods following regulatory approval, and so risks to investors is considered to be low and spending limits have been set several years ahead.

Debt analysts said that the move was unlikely to affect the management and operation of the company.

Thames Water chief executive Bill Alexander will retire next month. He is to be replaced by American Water chief executive Jeremy Pelczer.

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