United Untilities (UU) is to sell off all its shares in network services company Thus PLC. UU owns 22.63 pct in Thus as a result of Thus purchasing Your Communications from UU in 2006. UU intends to sell the shares via an accelerated book building process.
An accelerated book build is where an investment bank acquires a block of securities, intending to sell it on to clients by compiling a “book” of orders from these clients and then managing the distribution of the shares. In compiling a book, an investment bank will often give an indication of the likely allocation price of the book. This is known as the marketing range.
United Utilities said it considers its holdings in Thus as non-core and the sale is consistent with its strategy of focusing on its core skills of managing water, wastewater, electricity and gas networks.
Markets reacted to the news with Thus shares down 9 pence, or 4.6 pct, at 188 pence, while United Utilities shares were up half a penny at 767 pence.