The Herald

SSE lights up Seeboard deal

- MARK WILLIAMSON mark.williamson@theherald.co.uk

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.

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