Dozens of jobs could be saved – and your water bills could be kept lower – due to a fresh offer in a bidding war for Dee Valley Water.
It was announced last week that Severn Trent had agreed to buy rival Dee Valley Water in a deal worth about £78.5 million.
It gate-crashed a takeover deal from Ancala Fornia and sparked fears over job losses at the small water firm, with a threat that office administration roles in the Wrexham area would be relocated this side of the border.
There were also concerns about water bill increases.
But now Ancala have hit back with a fresh bid for the firm, which employs about 200 workers and includes Chester city centre, Blacon, Christleton and Upton in its catchment area.
The bid, which beats the Severn Trent bid by 1p per share, includes promises over existing jobs.
Ancala's contractual offer will be made at a price of 1,706 pence in cash per Voting Ordinary Share, compared to Severn Trent's 1,705.
A statement to the London Stock Exchange said: “Under the ownership of Ancala and Bidco, Dee Valley will continue to be a local company, run by staff situated locally within the community who will be incentivised to deliver excellent customer service to that community.”
It added: “Ancala and Bidco are long term investors.
“This will give Dee Valley’s management the stability to deliver strategies designed to ensure that Dee Valley customers continue to pay water bills which are among the lowest in England and Wales."
The Dee Valley directors, who have been so advised by Investec as to the financial terms of the Revised Ancala Bid, consider the terms of the Revised Ancala Bid to be fair and reasonable.
The directors believe they are in the best interests of Dee Valley shareholders as a whole and will unanimously recommend the revised Ancala bid.