Goldman Edges Closer to Southern Water

Goldman Sachs is expected to lead the running in the bid to acquire Southern Water when second rounds bids are received today, according to press reports. The investment bank is thought to be tabling a bid of up to Gbp4bn for the water utility.

Deutsche Bank is handling the sale after Royal Bank of Scotland's private equity arm put the business on the market earlier this year. RBS owns about 49% of Southern Water's shares but controls nearly 94% of its economic interest under an unusual ownership structure. Other sizeable shareholders include US hedge funds Perry Capital and DE Shaw.

Other potential bidders for the UK group are thought to include JP Morgan and at least one infrastructure fund.