Cumbria’s power network operator has been taken over.

A consortium led by Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc, along with Chinese state-owned international investment company CNIC and London-based investor Equitix has acquired the remaining 50 per cent stake in Electricity North West (ENW) from institution investors advised by First State Investments and J. P. Morgan Asset Management, for an undisclosed sum.

The same Kansai-led consortium along with Equitix already own half of the company after it bought the stake from institution investors, also advised by First State Investments and J. P. Morgan Asset Management, in a deal struck in July this year.

ENW operates an electricity distribution that serves around five million people and 2.5m properties across the region.

The Warrington headquartered company said it was looking forward to working with the new owners to deliver its price control commitments until 2023 and to create a plan for the period from 2023 to 2028 “which delivers for customers and stakeholders while providing value for shareholders”.

John Roberts, chair of ENW, said: “We are a high performing organisation and I’m delighted that Equitix and the Kansai-led consortium are increasing their stake in the company, and that their confidence has attracted the additional commitment of CNIC.

“I am extremely proud of the contribution we make to the North West every day. This is down to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our people who continue to deliver industry-leading reliability and are set to enable the transition to a net-zero future across the region.”

Hiroshi Nakajima, managing executive officer for Kansai’s International Business and Cooperation Division, said: “Kansai aims to develop a long-term and strategic collaboration with Electricity North West to create solutions that proactively address the current challenges to distribution networks.”

And Hugh Crossley, chief investment officer at Equitix – which invests, develops and manages funds for infrastructure and energy assets – said the firm was “delighted” to be increasing its stake in ENW.

“We are impressed by its commitment to outperformance, innovation and investment in the network, and to providing an excellent service for its customers,” he said.

“As a long-term investor we are fully committed to supporting those aims for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The takeover ends First State Investments’ 12-year involvement with ENW.

“We are incredibly proud of the development of the business during this time and we believe Electricity North West is well positioned for future challenges ahead,” said partner, Niall Mills.