The bidding war for Norweb Energy, the gas and electricity supply business of United Utilities, has intensified with Scottish Power entering the contest with an offer of up to £450m.
News of Scottish Power’s interest came just two weeks after it was revealed that National Power was considering a £410m bid. Scottish & Southern, PowerGen and AES Electric are also said to be interested.
When Norweb Energy was put up for sale by United earlier this year, it was expected to raise around £250m. The rising price indicates the value power firms are putting on large customer bases ahead of the new electricity trading arrangements.
Scottish Power is one of the most aggressive firms in the sector. It acquired Manweb and Southern Water in the UK and last year bought the US utility Pacificorp for £4bn. It is also thought to be interested in the two gas-fired power stations PowerGen has up for sale – the 1350MW Connah’s Quay and 680MW Rye House plants.
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