Japanese trading giant Sumitomo has bought Britain-based water supply and distribution firm Sutton & East Surrey Water (SESW) for a reported $455 million. Sumitomo and its European subsidiary bought 100 percent of East Surrey Holdings, which owns SESW, the Japanese firm said in a statement. "Sumitomo will be involved in the operation and management of SESW and will endeavour to contribute to improve quality of service by leveraging Sumitomo's extensive water sector experience," it added. Sumitomo did not make public the purchase price, which the leading Nikkei business daily estimated to be 42 billion yen ($455 million). The British firm, established in 1862, supplies drinking water to about 655,000 residential and business customers, the statement said. "Sumitomo will continue to seek further potential opportunities in water concessions around the world," it added, pointing to its water operations in Asia and the Middle East.
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