Hunter Water announces sale of subsidiary
Hunter Water Corporation (Hunter Water) has agreed to sell its fully owned subsidiary Hunter Water Australia Pty Limited (HWA) to a group comprising of HWA employees and local private investors, in a deal that will see the engineering consulting business remain locally based.
The laboratory business of HWA has been sold to Australian Laboratory Services Pty Limited, a subsidiary of ALS Limited (ALS).
As part of the transaction, a long term agreement has been put in place under which ALS will provide high quality laboratory services to Hunter Water. This includes a binding commitment to ensure that facilities are retained in Newcastle for at least the medium term.
As a result of discussions between Hunter Water and the Australian Services Union and Professionals Australia, an agreement has been reached that will offer employment within Hunter Water for the small number of HWA employees who have been identified as not being required by the new owners.
Hunter Water Managing Director Kim Wood said the two transactions are a good outcome for both businesses. “The investments in HWA ensure both businesses remain locally based while allowing Hunter Water to focus on its core responsibilities of delivering water and waste water services” he said. The region’s population is predicted to grow to 1 million by 2050 and Hunter Water will need to continue to increase its almost 10,000 kms of mains throughout the region and the capacity of many of its treatment plants.
For the sale of HWA, Pottinger acted as business advisor to Hunter Water and Spark Helmore acted as the legal advisor. The completion of the sale is expected by 31 December 2014.