Scottish Water’s Business Stream in Yorkshire deal

Jo Dow, chief executive of Business Stream

Edinburgh-based water retailer Business Stream, a subsidiary of state-owned Scottish Water, said on Thursday it bought the customer base of its competitors Yorkshire Water Business Services (YWBS) and Three-Sixty, both part of the Kelda Group.

Business Stream said the move will double its market share and cement 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,” said Business Stream.

The acquisition is the second for Business Stream, which 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.

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).

Business Stream CEO Jo Dow 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.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.