ITOCHU Takes Equity Position in the UK's Bristol Water

– First Ever Japanese Investment in a UK Water Utility –

May 11, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (hereafter “ITOCHU”; headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masahiro Okafuji) has reached agreement with Canadian infrastructure company Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (hereafter “Capstone”) to share with Capstone a 70 per cent position in Bristol Water, which supplies water to the city of Bristol and the surrounding vicinity in the southwest UK. ITOCHU will attain the equivalent of a 20 per cent share position in Bristol Water through a stock purchase for total consideration of 43.5 million British pounds from Capstone.

With a history spanning more than 160 years, Bristol Water supplies water to a 2,400km2 region in and around the city of Bristol (roughly twice that supplied by the Bureau of Waterworks of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government) and has a history of stable and efficient operations, outstanding customer service and strong financial performance.

This investment is the first participation by ITOCHU in a regulated water utility that offers full drinking services from water resource management to water treatment, water supply and distribution, and also marks the first Japanese investment in the UK water sector. ITOCHU will dispatch a board member to Bristol Water and will offer its expertise in support of Bristol Water’s mission, which is to provide a highly reliable supply of water of excellent quality, delivered in a sustainable and affordable way. Furthermore, ITOCHU wishes to contribute to Bristol Water by bringing in unique technologies and services available in Japan. The remaining 30 per cent interest in Bristol Water is owned by AGBAR (Sociedad General de Aguas de Barcelona), a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and the largest private water company in Spain. AGBAR provides water services and solutions to approximately 28 million people in 11 countries.

The UK water utility sector was fully privatized in 1989. Since that time, significant improvements in the level of service have been achieved and the UK is now recognized worldwide as a model for successful privatization of water utilities. ITOCHU regards water as an important business sector, and through its equity participation in Bristol Water, ITOCHU aims to build know-how from such an advanced UK water utility and to apply that know-how in advancing new water-related business in the Asia region.

About Bristol Water

Company name Bristol Water plc
URL[Open in a new window]
Established 1846
Customers/region supplied Approx. 1,160,000 people in the greater Bristol region
Water supplied Approx. 278 million litres/day across approx. 2,400km2 area
Employees 510

Bristol city vicinage map


Investment structure description