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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Utility boss set for shares boost

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United Utilities' director Philip Green is on course to pick up 100,000 free shares

The boss of United Utilities is on course to pick up 100,00 free shares after announcing he will leave the water company in March.

Philip Green struck a deal with United when he joined in February 2006 that it would match his acquisition of 100,000 shares if he remained at the helm for five years.

If the share price stays at its current level, the shares he is due to be given will be worth £626,000 and are not subject to performance conditions.

United announced that Mr Green will be replaced by Steve Mogford, currently boss of defence electronics company Selex Galileo.

Mr Green is credited with refocusing the company back onto its core business as a water and sewage company. He sold many of its non-core assets, such as its Australian subsidiary for £136 million and Yorkshire gas distributor Northern Gas Networks for £86 million.

Most recently, United offloaded several parts of its non-regulated business to Veolia Water UK for £174.2 million.

The deal included operations in Bulgaria, Estonia and Poland, and outsourcing and industrial engineering contracts, such as a project to manage the building of a new waste water treatment works in the Brighton area for Southern Water.

The announcement did not surprise the market as there has recently been speculation that the hunt for Mr Green’s successor was under way. The Warrington-based company’s share price was not significantly changed.

Before taking up his role as chief executive at Selex, Mr Mogford was chief operating officer and board member at defence engineering firm BAE Systems and is also a non-executive director at listed builder Carillion.

He will lead a £3.6 billion investment programme in the north-west over the next five years.

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