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United Utilities sells outsourcing arm Vertex

United Utilities said it had sold its Vertex outsourcing business to a consortium of private equity firms led by Oak Hill of the United States for 217.5 million pounds. File photo shows United Utilities CEO Philip Green. REUTERS/Vismedia

LONDON (Reuters) - United Utilities said it had sold its Vertex outsourcing business to a consortium of private equity firms led by Oak Hill of the United States for 217.5 million pounds.

“Completion of the sale is expected by the end of March,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

United Utilities UU.L had announced in December that it was to sell its Vertex business as part of its strategy to focus on its core skills of managing water, wastewater, electricity and gas networks.

“We believe this transaction serves the best interests of our shareholders, allowing the group to concentrate on its core skills,” Chief Executive Philip Green said in a statement.

“We aim to be a world class operator of utility infrastructure,” he added.

United Utilities provides water to around 7 million customers in northwest England and electricity to about 2.2 million domestic and industrial users across Britain.

The sale price of 217.5 million pounds comprises cash, the repayment of intra-group debt and the retention by the buyer of certain Vertex liabilities.

The consortium of U.S.-based private equity firms also includes GenNx360 and Knox Lawrence International.

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