United chief may quit with £4m pay-out

THE boss of former state-owned water group United Utilities may quit later this month with a golden goodbye payout worth more than £4m, it emerged yesterday.

It is understood group chief executive Philip Green could announce his resignation from the water and waste services supplier in north-west England as early as November 24.

Green is thought likely to receive stock and share options worth more than £4m should he resign. No-one from the company was yesterday available to comment.

The company serves nearly 7m people, 3.2m households and business premises and more than 400 industrial and commercial enterprises.
Green joined the company in 2005 with the task of returning it to a pure water and waste services company after the previous management had expanded it to include electricity and support services.

The group has since sold most of its non-regulated operations and is expected to discontinue its “contract solutions” infrastructure management business.

The announcement about Green’s departure may come in the company’s first half results on Wednesday, in which it is tipped to post pre-tax profits of about £173m, against £268m a year ago.

Water regulator Ofwat forced United to cut its bills by four per cent at the start of April, one of the toughest initial reductions imposed on the listed water stocks, although Deutsche Bank expects growth thereafter as the company moves through the five year regulatory period.

FAST FACTS | UNITED UTILITIES

United Utilities has: 184 reservoirs;
* over 42,000 km of water mains;
* over 43,000 km of sewers;
* 100 water treatment works.
* 575 wastewater treatment works