Water group pulls plug on in-house

The IN-HOUSE team of water utility giant Azurix International is being made redundant as a result of a company-wide downsizing.

It is making 85 redundancies in corporate personnel in its London and Houston headquarters, including its seven-strong legal department which is split between the two offices.

It is believed Sarah Gregory, senior legal counsel, and Sarah Vickers, senior counsel, who make up the London in-house team at Azurix, are also being made redundant.

However, a spokeswoman for Azurix refused to name which people would be affected by the job cuts.

It is understood the redundancies will also affect the Houston legal department headed up by senior counsel John Ale.

The Azurix spokeswoman says: “We are working to reduce our operating costs. We are going to be focusing more on more privately-negotiated transactions as opposed to concessions.”

She also says the redundancies are in no way performance-related and follow on from the overall company restructure.

Earlier this year the company, formed by US energy giant Enron, which still holds a 69 per cent stake in Azurix, revealed plans to float.

Azurix is expected to sustain heavy losses in its fourth quarter results in the form of a non-recurring pre-tax charge of around $30m (£19m) due to development and acquisition costs.

The company bought Wessex Water for £1.5bn last year.