Published: Wednesday, Feb 8th, 2017
Severn Trent’s offer to take over Dee Valley Water has been given the green light by the High Court.
As we reported clever work-around was executed, where staff and customers had acquired shares to have their say on the potential takeover by Severn Trent at the shareholders’ meeting on 12th January.
The question on if the newly acquired shares would be ruled as holding valid voting rights was decided in court, with the ruling meaning that Severn Trent’s bid is going ahead – unless there is an appeal lodged by Friday.
The ruling emerged this morning and reads “At the Scheme Court Hearing, held today, following representations from interested parties, the Court sanctioned the Scheme to effect the Revised Severn Trent Acquisition. ”
“The Court has however adjourned to Friday 10 February 2017 pending any application to appeal. Accordingly the Scheme will not become effective prior to this date. Dee Valley will make a further announcement in due course.”
Reaction to this decision is filtering through from local representatives who have been in opposition to the takeover:
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said: “The workforce in Clwyd South are the reason the company is held in such high regard, particularly for its excellent customer service. I’m bitterly disappointed for the loyal Dee Valley Water employees that their views have not been listened to.”
Susan Elan Jones added: “This is a real blow for the workforce at Rhostyllen, many of whom will now understandably be anxious about what happens next. I will continue to work with Ken and Ian Lucas MP to seek assurances from Severn Trent about what the future holds.”
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, said: “The takeover of Dee Valley Water by Severn Trent is not good news for staff, local suppliers and the Welsh economy. Jobs will be lost and the local supply chain will suffer.
“Small shareholders have been disregarded by the judgement while big corporate shareholders will be laughing all the way to the bank due to today’s ruling.
“Dee Valley provides a good service for customers and its water bills are lower than that of Severn Trent. In the wake of the judgement in London today, I am writing to Severn Trent to ask for assurances for both staff and customers. This takeover has raised many questions about the future of the water industry in Wales and I suspect the ripples will continue way beyond Dee Valley water.
“The campaign to ensure Welsh water services were run from Wales and for the best interests of people in Wales is one that will continue, whatever the verdict today. The workers at Dee Valley Water deserve better than this.”