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Water company merger goes to Competition Commission

The merger of South East Water with Mid Kent Water has been referred to the Compeition Commission by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
The OFT has referred the acquisition of Macquarie Luxembourg Water Sarl (now Hastings Luxembourg Water Sarl) by Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA) and Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (HDUF). The Commission has been asked to decide whether the merger will prejudice the ability of regulator Ofwat to make comparisons between water enterprises for the purposes of assessing performance and setting price controls. UTA and HDUF already own Mid Kent Water and by acquiring Hastings Luxembourg Water Sarl they now also own South East Water. This is the first time the OFT's duty to refer a water merger has been triggered since the Enterprise Act came into force. The Commission is expected to report by 2 May 2007.

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