Sep 5, 2017

How Macquarie bank left Thames Water with a £2bn debt

The Australian bank Macquarie has left Thames Water with an extra £2bn debt burden, a BBC investigation shows. The transactions which culminated in Thames Water having the additional £2bn of debt on its books took place inside a network of companies up by Macquarie at the time it bought Thames Water. A consultation paper published in February 2007 by the water regulator Ofwat showed that Macquarie and its investors paid £5.1bn for Thames Water, of which £2.8bn was money Macquarie had borrowed to help fund the purchase. Martin Blaiklock said: "That letter was a red flag to me because it showed clearly that the debt which Macquarie funds had used to buy Thames Water had been transferred over to Thames Water." While leaks occurred at only six of more than 350 plants that Thames Water runs, and environmental performance as measured by the Environment Agency had improved significantly in the last five years, Macquarie said: "Thames Water delivered £12bn of capital investment during our ownership and investment levels per customer were the highest in England and Wales."

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