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WORLD WATCH

International Business / The Pacific

May 30, 1996

Water Utility Gets Another Bidder: The British power supplier kicked off a battle for one of Britain's big water companies by making a $2.42-billion takeover offer. Analysts said the bid is unlikely to be enough to deter utility giant Scottish Power, which Tuesday offered $2.36 billion. Scottish Power, whose empire already spans electricity generation and supply, gas, telecommunications and retail, was not immediately available to comment, though analysts believe it may be ready to raise the stakes. Southern Electric, which said its bid makes commercial sense, offered a cash and stock bid valuing Southern Water at $15.31 a share, compared with Scottish Power's $14.28, based on Tuesday's closing share price.

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