Affinity Water poaches Thames’ CFO

Stuart Ledger leaves Thames Water after nine years at the firm which has been hit with fines of £28.5m in the last few months.

UK water company Affinity Water has hired a new chief financial officer, poaching Stuart Ledger from rival firm Thames Water.

Ledger will replace Duncan Bates, who is set to retire at the end of next month having joined the company in 2012. Ledger will begin his role by the end of the year, with Steve Mensforth taking over in the interim.

The move comes a month after DIF Infrastructure IV, HICL and Allianz Capital Partners completed a deal to buy Affinity Water from Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and Infracapital, with the transaction understood to have an enterprise value of about £1.56 billion ($1.9 billion; €1.7 billion).

HICL is also set to announce a deal imminently that will see it sell a 3.4 percent share of its ownership in the water firm to a group of UK pension funds for about £25 million.

Ledger will join Affinity Water after spending nine years at Thames Water, initially as group financial controller for four years, before assuming the chief financial officer position for its retail business in June 2013.

Thames Water has come under heavy criticism from UK regulators recently. It was hit with an “unprecedented” £20 million fine three months ago for discharging sewage and was fined again this month £8.5 million for further leakage breaches. The company is owned by Borealis Infrastructure, Wren House Infrastructure Management, BT Pension Scheme, ADIA, BcIMC, AMP Capital, QIC and Fiera Infrastructure.