Source Pravda.Ru

The US Companies Leaves UK Market

Aquila, the troubled US energy group plans to quit energy trading and wants to sell its Midlands electricity distribution interests in the UK.The US group, previously known as UtiliCorp, paid $264m and assumed $1.7bn of debt for a 79.9 per cent stake in Avon Energy Partners, the Midlands Electricity holding company.Aquila is going to withdraw from energy trading by the end of the third quarter, after already ending market-making activity and speculative trading.The company expects a successful offer to emerge for Midlands, to be concluded by the middle of October.Companies thought to have been interested in the network before Aquila bought it included Powergen and Scottish and Southern Energy of the UK and WPD, a US energy joint venture that already has a regional power distribution network in south-west England.Midlands' distribution businesses serve 2.3m customers in the city of Birmingham and parts of Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester.It generated sales of about $570m, producing earnings of $275m before interest and tax in the year to March 2001.Its disposal is the latest in a series of UK power industry transactions worth more than ё65bn ($100bn) including debt since 1995.More recently US companies, either in trouble at home or disenchanted with the UK market, have been selling their former UK interests to continental European utilities.

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