§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what percentage of total water shares has gone to(a) small investors, (b) United Kingdom institutions, (c) foreign investors and (d) others;
(2) what provision was considered to ensure that small shareholders were allocated more than half the total water shares available.
§ Mr. Howard
Under the offer arrangements for the water offers, 26.55 per cent. of the available shares were initially allocated to the United Kingdom retail public offers (including shares reserved for employees and bonus shares), 54.95 per cent. of the available shares were allocated to the institutions; and 18.5 per cent. were allocated to overseas offers in Japan, continental Europe, Canada and the USA.
In view of the heavy demand in the retail public offers, various clawback arrangements were triggered to increase the size of the retail public offers. As a result the final allocations were 46.875 per cent. to the retail public offers; 39.25 per cent. to the institutions and 13.875 per cent. to the overseas offers.
The retail public offers were significantly oversubscribed in each of the 10 offers and applications had to be scaled down. In deciding a basis for scaling down, preference was given first to employees, pensioners and customers of each company, with 2.4 per cent. of the retail public offers being allocated to employees and pensioners and 57.5 per cent. to customers. Preference was also given to small applications over large. For example, applicants in the retail offers at the minimum application band all received a 100 per cent. allocation. Applicants applying for 10,000 or more shares, in contrast, received from 6.4 per cent. to 40 per cent. of the shares they applied for and, in the case of one company, no allocation.