Severn Trent suitor threatens to walk away

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The consortium bidding for Severn Trent today said it would not table a new offer unless the water utility’s management engaged in talks.

LongRiver – made up of Canadian investment group Borealis, the Kuwait Investment Office and the Universities Superannuation Scheme – saw its third offer, worth £5.3 billion, rejected on Friday.

Commenting on behalf of the consortium, Borealis president and chief executive Michael Rolland today said the Severn Trent board had shown no interest in discussing its offer.

He added: “Since we submitted our proposal on 14 May, no member of the consortium or its advisers has met any of the directors of Severn Trent or its advisers, despite repeated requests.

“In the absence of any such engagement, there will be no further proposal from the consortium and no offer for Severn Trent shareholders to consider.”

However, Severn Trent chairman Andrew Duff said: “Throughout this process the board has been careful to act in the best interest of shareholders.

“We have held private conversations with LongRiver and made clear that we have no objections to fuller discussions in the event that LongRiver puts forward a proposal which properly reflects the long term value and future potential of Severn Trent.”

LongRiver has until 5pm tomorrow to decide whether to walk away or table a fourth offer for the water firm.