• East Surrey Pipeline
    East Surrey Pipeline
    UK / Infrastructure



    ESP is an independent gas transporter (“iGT”) and independent electricity network operator (“iDNO”) providing the ‘last mile’ of connection between properties (predominantly residential, but also industrial and commercial) and the gas and electricity distribution networks.

    It focuses on being an ‘independent asset owner’. It acquires (bids for) gas and electricity connections from ‘utility infrastructure providers’ (“UIP”), who have themselves designed and installed the connections for property developers. ESP is then responsible for maintaining the connections going forward and receives a regulated revenue stream for each connection from the gas and electricity companies who charge the end customer as part of their overall gas or electricity bill. Price regulation for both gas and electricity connections is based on the regimes of the gas and electricity distribution companies. Regulation is overseen by Ofgem.

    Today ESP owns over 500,000 connections and has an order book for 200,000 more, making it the second largest iGT/iDNO in the UK. ESP also has a domestic metering business (representing almost one quarter of its revenues). Charges for meters are unregulated.

    Investment rationale

    • ESP operates under an established and proven regulatory framework that drives stable and high quality cash flow generation
    • Significant growth is forecast from the demand for new UK housing. The financial crisis led to a number of years of low levels of new builds, which exacerbated the shortage of supply versus demand
    • ESP does not undertake installation works and so does not compete with the UIPs. This lack of conflict of interest enables it to be a preferred acquirer of assets and to focus on customer service as it is a neutral host. This gives it a competitive advantage against other players in the connections market

    Regulatory information 
    This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

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