Investors agreed to inject almost $1 billion into the U.K.'s debt-ridden Thames Water to stave off an intervention by the government that could have led to a temporary renationalization.
The company was a leading example of Margaret Thatcher’s privatization program in the 1980s. But a huge debt and rising interest rates have put it on the verge of default. Utility company supplies water and sewerage services to one quarter of U.K. population.
Investors are keeping a close watch on Thames Water, a once safe infrastructure asset that has been battered and weakened by rapidly rising interest rates. During a long period with rates near zero, the company accumulated debt of nearly $18 billion, which is equal to 80% of its value.