17 May 2004
Following press speculation, the Board of Pennon Group Plc ("Pennon" or "the Company") confirms that it is in discussions with Shanks Group Plc regarding the possible acquisition of Shanks's UK landfill and landfill gas assets, in pursuit of Pennon's stated strategy. These discussions are continuing and are at an advanced stage.
Any such acquisition would have to satisfy Pennon's normal criteria for any investment in the waste management sector, as well as reinforcing Pennon's progressive dividend policy. There can be no assurance that any such acquisition will be agreed.
The Board of Pennon also confirms that it has received a preliminary and conditional approach for the entire issued share capital of the Company from a consortium of financial investors led by Terra Firma. The Board unanimously decided that the approach failed to recognise the strategic value of Pennon, its track record and the future prospects of Pennon's two core businesses. South West Water has consistently outperformed its regulatory contract while Viridor Waste continues to offer significant opportunities for earnings growth. Therefore, following consultation with some of Pennon's largest shareholders, the Board rejected the approach.
A further announcement will be made when appropriate.
020 7251 3801 Edward Orlebar