Thames Water bids to close this week

Second round bids for Thames Water, the UK-based water utility, are to close this week.

RWE, the owner of Thames, will decide before the end of the month whether it will sell or list Thames. The delayed deadline has been intended to provide potential bidders with more time to undertake due diligence.

According to sources, Alinta and Macquarie Bank are both interested bidders, with Macquarie considered one of the top three parties expected to make a binding offer. Qatar Investment Authority has hinted it might bid £10bn (US$14.8bn) for Thames, and therefore QIA is well positioned to win the auction.

A report in the Australian Financial Review said QIA was bidding with UBS. Macquarie is believed to have joined with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp in its bid. It is not known whether Macquarie will be prepared to match the potential offer from the Qatar consortium.

Terra Firma, the UK private equity firm, is leading another consortium bidding for Thames. However, Terra Firma is reported to be losing interest faced with the deep pockets of the Qatar consortium.

Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are advising RWE.