Scotland’s largest non-domestic water supplier, Business Stream, has bought the customer base of its competitors Yorkshire Water Business Services (YWBS) and Three-Sixty, both part of the Kelda Group, doubling its market share and cementing its position as one of the top three retailers in the UK water market.
The acquisition which will take effect this summer, subject to regulatory approvals, will see Business Stream manage water and waste water services for around 140,000 new customers in the Yorkshire area.
The retailer will work closely with Three-Sixty and YWBS throughout an extended transition period to ensure that the experience is seamless for customers. In addition, a number of key account managers will transfer to Business Stream as part of the deal in order to maintain existing relationships and provide continuity of service to the YWBS customers.
The acquisition is the second for Business Stream, who acquired Southern Water’s non-domestic customer base in 2016 just prior to the English retail water market opening, doubling its customer base in the process.
On 1 April 2017, 1.2 million businesses and public bodies in England were able to choose their water supplier for the first time, an option previously only available to the largest users.
The acquisition by Business Stream is a significant milestone in its plans to establish its position as one of the biggest players in the market and to grow its existing customer base. Recent wins for the retailer include the UK-wide portfolios of Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail, Greggs, Morrison’s and Regus Management (UK).
Jo Dow, Business Stream’s chief executive, said: “The opening of the English retail water market in 2017 created huge opportunities for Business Stream. As we look ahead to the future we recognise that scale will be an important factor, enabling us to deliver a more competitive service for our customers across the UK.”
“We will use the experience we gained from the Southern acquisition to ensure that the transition is seamless for our existing and future customers, providing them with a market leading customer experience, and access to innovative services that reduce their costs, risks and environmental impact. As a specialist supplier, with over a decade of experience operating in a competitive water market, we know we are ideally placed to deliver these benefits for our customers”.
“This acquisition will cement our position as one of the key players in the UK retail water market and help build a strong future for our staff and customers.”
Liz Barber, Yorkshire Water’s director of Finance, Regulation and Markets said: “Business Stream has a strong track record of delivering excellent customer service and are very experienced in the market. We are confident that they will continue to provide customers with the same high level of service they have had from Yorkshire Water Business Services. We are working closely with Business Stream to deliver a smooth transition process for our customers.”
Roseanna Cunningham MSP, cabinet secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said: “I welcome the announcement today that Business Stream, a Scottish Water company, has doubled its market share and is now one of the leading players in the UK retail water market. The move secures jobs in Scotland and underlines our commitment to ensuring the continued success of the publicly owned Scottish Water Group.”