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Anglian Water completes removal of Cayman company

Anglian Water has become the first UK water company to complete the removal of its Cayman Islands company from its financial structure.

Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson said the company is 'paving the way for others in the sector to follow'Anglian Water CEO Peter Simpson said the company is 'paving the way for others in the sector to follow'

Anglian Water said the Cayman Islands company was always registered in the UK for tax and it never received any tax advantage from its location and that the company was never used to raise debt finance.

Anglian Water’s chief executive officer, Peter Simpson, said: “As a responsible business, I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made in removing the Cayman company, and the speed at which we have been able to start implementing all of our corporate commitments announced in March.

“This is a clear demonstration of where Anglian Water is leading by doing and paving the way for others in the sector to follow.”

The removal of the Cayman company is one of a wide range of commitments made by the water company earlier this year when Anglian Water’s board and shareholders resolved to redouble their efforts to ensure it continues to make the right choices for current and future customers, and the environment.

Anglian said the commitments are being rapidly progressed to enhance transparency, trust and customer confidence.

The company announced that it has: 

  • Improved the clarity of its financial structures, with the repayment of an inter-company loan in March. The changes simplify the presentation of its accounts and allow for greater clarity of financial reporting, in particular around actual dividends paid to shareholders.
  • Engaged in work with Ofwat on proposals on a common principles-based licence for companies to continue to put customers at the heart of everything they do, ensuring they act in the public interest.
  • Begun changing the composition of the Anglian Water services board so that independent non-executive directors are in the majority, and not just the largest group. Natalie Ceeney has been appointed as a new independent non-executive director.

Anglian has also committed to spedning an extra £65 million on resilience, with a significant proportion to be invested on improving the security of supply in south Lincolnshire by 2020 – a scheme not included in the company’s original plan. Work is underway. 

It said the work improves the region’s ability to deal with drought and flooding and will be paid for by the shareholders through a reduction in dividends.

It also remains committed to substantially reducing dividends through to 2025, resulting in a significant reduction in the company’s level of debt and gearing

Simpson added: “As well as committing to simplifying our accounts, we’ve also wound up and removed the Cayman company from our structure, appointed additional independent non-executive directors to the board, and we are making swift progress on reducing gearing through reduced shareholder dividends.

“We already hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, but as we have shown here, when there is public concern, we act comprehensively and swiftly, setting the standard for the sector. I’m grateful to our shareholders for their support in making these changes.

“This is the next chapter adding to our solid track record of anticipating and responding to challenge. We are proud that, since the introduction of our Love Every Drop strategy in 2011, we have made terrific steps forward in operational performance, customer service and environmental stewardship.

"This culminated in being named Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year in 2017. We recognise that these and the further changes we will make will help to strengthen trust and confidence in the water industry. We intend to remain at the forefront of this positive change.”

More information is included in Anglian Water Services’ Preliminary Results.

 

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Policy & Regulation
Tags: Anglian Water , tax , business

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