United Utilities Group PLC is a public limited company, with a primary listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange.
The group came into existence following the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. On privatisation customers, employees and investors were able to buy shares in North West Water Group PLC.
Shareholders paid £2.40 per share, in three instalments: 100p per share on 6 December 1989, 70p on 31 July 1990, and 70p on 30 July 1991. First day of dealing of fully paid shares was 12 December 1989 when the share price closed at 275p.
In 1995, the group acquired Norweb plc, the then regional electricity distributor and supplier. Funds were raised for the acquisition from a rights issue undertaken by North West Water Group PLC. In order to acquire the new shares, shareholders paid 525p per share in two instalments:- 130p on 9 October 1995; and the second instalment of 395p per share on 23 November 1995. The offer for Norweb became unconditional on the 8 November 1995. The North West Water Group PLC closing price on 8 November 1995 was 585p per ordinary share. First day of trading of fully paid ordinary shares acquired as a result of the rights issue was 24 November 1995, when the share price closed at 603p. The company changed its name on 1 April 1996 to United Utilities PLC.
The next significant event, in the corporate history was a further rights issue in 2003-2005, when funds in the region of £1,011 million were raised in two tranches in order to fund in part the capital investment programme of the water and wastewater business.
The two stage rights issue consisted of issuing A shares, at a total cost per A share of £3.30, payable in two equal instalments of £1.65 in September 2003 and £1.65 in June 2005. A shares commenced trading fully-paid on 18 September 2003 at a price of 280p per A share. On this date, the closing price of an ordinary fully paid share was 470.75 pence per share. (A shares traded nil-paid from 27 August 2003).
Two A shares converted into 1 ordinary share. The closing price on 7 July 2005 (first day of trading of A shares converted into fully paid ordinary shares) was 649p.
On 29 January 1998, United Utilities PLC American Depositary Receipts were admitted to listing on the New York Stock Exchange. On June 25, 2007, United Utilities PLC (UU) announced that it had filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission the requisite form to terminate its registration under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. United Utilities had previously filed to withdraw its American depositary (the 'ADRs') and its ordinary shares (the 'Shares') from listing on the New York Stock Exchange ('NYSE') and registration under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act.
From 25 June 2007, the company's ADRs moved to being traded over the counter (OTC). From 28 July 2008, the new OTC ticker symbol is UUGRY (CUSIP: 91311E 102).
In November 2007, the sale of United Utilities Electricity plc and its ownership of the group’s electricity distribution assets was announced for a total enterprise value of £1,782 million to North West Electricity Networks Limited. Following completion of the transaction the intention was to return the net equity proceeds of the disposal of approximately £1 billion to its shareholders in the following financial year.
A corporate restructuring was undertaken via the implementation of a scheme of arrangement in order to facilitate the return to shareholders of a total of £1.5 billion or 170 pence per share.
On 28 July 2008, the scheme of arrangement was sanctioned by the High Court and United Utilities PLC's shares were delisted from the London Stock Exchange and shares in United Utilities Group PLC were admitted to listing to the Exchange.
In accordance with the rules of the scheme of arrangement, shareholders received 17 ordinary shares (with a nominal value of 5p each) in United Utilities Group PLC in exchange for 22 ordinary shares held in United Utilities PLC. Similarly, in relation to the American Depositary Receipts, United Utilities PLC’s ADRs were cancelled and the Depositary was issued with 17 United Utilities Group Ordinary Shares for every 22 United Utilities Shares it held at the Scheme Record date of 6.00pm on 25 July 2008 and £1.70 in cash. United Utilities Group American Depositary Receipts were issued by the Depositary in respect of the United Utilities Group Ordinary Shares that had been issued to the Depositary.