Bluefield Research Releases European Private Water Utility Rankings

18 May 2015  |  Press Release

BOSTON – Bluefield Research today announced its 2015 Europe Private Water Utility Rankings, highlighting the region’s top 25 leading private utilities serving more than 156 million people across the continent. The 2015 rankings, available exclusively at, provide in-depth data and analysis of Europe’s leading utilities by revenue, water volume supplied, and population served.

This year’s rankings show France-based Veolia Eau edging out domestic counterpart Suez Environnement for No. 1 spot based on consolidated ownership stakes in other European utilities. The United Kingdom’s Thames Water and Severn Trent trail in the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, and Spain’s FCC Aqualia rounds out the top five.

Bluefield’s report, Europe Private Water Utility Rankings: Markets & Company Strategies, details the impacts of economic, policy, and competitive shifts on company strategies and market trends. These factors have created a unique competitive environment in Europe in which leading players are solidifying their core market positions through complementary acquisitions while weighing heavily opportunities to expand abroad.

“Europe offers unparalleled stability for entrenched players, but public sensitivities to private participation and the model’s capital intensity are forcing firms to show greater flexibility,” said Keith Hays, Vice President at Bluefield Research, reflecting on firms’ more global ambitions.

At the same time, a string of asset sales over the past three years — to Japan’s Itochu, Mitsui, Marubeni, and China’s Beijing Water Enterprises — have given entry into the European water utility sector via Portugal, Spain, and the UK. “The global landscape, including Europe, is shifting,” added Mr. Hays. “The global utility sector is taking on a different shape with large Asian players penetrating new markets. A continuation of this trend will certainly reshuffle the Top 25 rankings going forward.”

Notes: *Common shareholder Veolia. **Common shareholder Suez Environnement. ***Common shareholder FCC Aqualia
Source: Utilities, Bluefield Research

According to Bluefield Research, the top 25 national utilities with some degree of private ownership represent $36 billion in annual revenue, and serve just over 30% of the European Union’s population. Europe has seen minor shifts in terms of the level of private participation but has been stable at around 30% in terms of population served since a wave of privatization in the 1990s.

Bluefield Research is in the process of compiling global rankings of private water utilities, which will be released soon. Visit for more information on Bluefield’s coverage of global water markets & strategies.