Northumbrian Water receives takeover offer
Northumbrian Water has confirmed that it has received a takeover proposal from Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI).
Northumbrian said there was "no certainty" that CKI would move ahead with a formal bid.
Based in Durham, Northumbrian supplies water in the north-east of England. It also owns Essex & Suffolk Water.
CKI has water supply interests around the world. It also has a 50% stake in the Seabank Power Station near Bristol.
CKI is part of the Hong Kong conglomerate Cheung Kong Holdings, which is owned and run by Li Ka Shing, the world's 11th richest man. His eldest son, Victor Li is chairman of CKI.
Northumbrian said a further announcement would be made "when appropriate".
Last month, Northumbrian reported a 6.3% rise in full-year profits for the year to the end of March.
Its pre-tax profits for the 12 months totalled £181m, compared with £170m a year earlier, and company said the increase was due in part to higher water and sewerage charges.
Its main business provides water and sewerage services to 2.6 million people in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and parts of North Yorkshire.
Essex & Suffolk Water supplies 1.8 million people in the south-east of England.
CKI's business interests cover the water, energy and transportation sectors.
In addition to Hong Kong and the UK, it has investments in mainland China, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, its market capitalisation is about 80bn Hong Kong dollars ($10.2bn; £6.4bn).