Severn Trent forms joint venture with United Utilities

01 March 2016

In advance of the opening up of the business water and waste water market in 2017, Severn Trent, which serves the Midlands and mid-Wales, has announced it has created a joint venture (JV) with United Utilities (UU) to use both companies’ experience to better serve future customers.

With the commercial market officially opening in April 2017, when 1.2 million business customers will be free to choose their supplier, the JV will bring together the business market teams from Severn Trent and UU in Stoke-on-Trent. The new business’ chief executive will be Sue Amies-King, currently Business Retail Director at UU, with Stuart Howell, currently Head of Finance and Business Planning for Business Services at Severn Trent, named as chief financial officer.

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of Severn Trent, said: “I’m delighted to be working with United Utilities in creating this joint venture to use both of our experiences as the industry moves closer to the exciting opportunities presented by the opening of the non-household retail market.

“We firmly believe this innovative joint venture can give customers a market-leading experience. Together, we can become one of the most effective players in this exciting new market, while also ensuring our future customers across the UK get the best possible service.”

Both Severn Trent and UU have successfully entered the business market in Scotland, which has been open to competition since 2008, with Severn Trent providing water and waste water services to a number of sites, having signed up such well-known customers as Apex Hotels.

The JV has to be approved by the Competition and Markets Authority before it can begin to trade but both companies are confident of approval.

“Combining two great businesses will create a strong offer for customers, a clear proposition for our colleagues and a good return for our investors,” said Liv. 

“We’ve made a very good case and we’re confident that we’ll get approval some time early this year.”

UU holds a license to provide water and sewage services to around seven million people in North West England. The company looks after more than 42,000km of water pipes, from Cumbria to Cheshire, more than 76,000km of sewers, 569 wastewater treatment works and 94 water treatment works.

The Water Act 2014 established the framework to create a market that will allow 1.2 million businesses and other non-household customers of providers based mainly or wholly in England to choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services from April 2017. Retail services include things like billing and customer services.

To find out more infomation about the new joint venture here.