SSE lights up Seeboard deal
SCOT TISH & Southern Energy (SSE) has consolidated its leadership in the lucrative market for maintaining the UK’s streetlights by acquiring a rival’s lighting operation.
The Perth-based utility said it had agreed a £7.8m cash deal with EDF under which it will acquire the French giant’s Seeboard Trading operation, which has contracts with three local authorities in southern England.
The contracts cover 90,000 columns used to light the streets of the London boroughs of Islington and Ealing and the area covered by Dorset County Council.
A s S e e b o a r d Tr a d i n g finances and operates the lighting systems under Private Finance Initiative funding schemes and with 20 years to run the deal will mean SSE secures a dependable long-term revenue stream.
T he utility has already demonstrated its enthusiasm for doing lighting maintenance work for the public sector. It has PFI contracts to replace and maintain 210,000 lighting columns for four authorities in England, including Leeds and Newcastle city councils.
SSE also has maintenance contracts with 22 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland covering more than one million street lights.
Colin Hood, chief operating officer of SSE, said: “The PFI approach has emerged as an excellent way of replacing ageing street lighting.
“Additional contracts are unlikely to be awarded before 2010 so this is a unique opportunity to build further our presence in this increasingly important sector.”
Some 70 employees will transfer to SSE as a result of the Seeboard Trading acquisition.