[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Qatar joins Thames Water pursuit
Tap
Qatar may pour billions of pounds into a bid for Thames Water
The Gulf state of Qatar has emerged as a front runner in a bidding war for Thames Water.

An official with Qatar's Investment Authority confirmed his government's interest in buying Thames Water from German owner RWE.

Hussain Al Abdulla declined to reveal how much the state-owned investment authority had bid for Thames Water.

However, he said the bids already in from interested parties had ranged between 7bn and 10bn.

Thames Water supplies water to eight million people across London and the South of England and provides sewage services to 13 million customers.

Looming deadline

The first round of bidding for Thames Water ends this week.

Mr Abdulla expressed confidence over Qatar's chances. "I think we have a good opportunity to win the bid," he said.

The Investment Authority is the state investment arm of Qatar, which is an Opec member and possesses the world's third largest reserves of natural gas.

RWE chief executive Harry Roels said he was conducting talks over Thames Water with potential buyers in August. The company wants to sell both its UK and North American water operations.

RWE is a utility giant with interests in gas, electricity and recycling. It bought Thames Water for 4.8bn in 2000.


SEE ALSO
Profits up at Thames Water owner
10 Aug 06 |  Business
Thames Water escapes leakage fine
04 Jul 06 |  Business
Thames Water misses leak target
22 Jun 06 |  Business
German owner to sell Thames Water
05 Nov 05 |  Business
Skilled Germans plug UK jobs gap
28 Sep 05 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific