UK-based United Utilities has reportedly said that there is a mixture of companies interested in acquiring Norweb, its electricity distribution arm.

Dow Jones Newswires quoted a company spokeswoman as saying: We’ve had quite a degree of interest. There’s been a mixture: private equity, infrastructure funds, trade. But it’s far too early to tell – by the end of September we’ll know who’s serious or not.

Explaining that the deal is expected to be complete by the end of March 2008, the spokeswoman added that formal bids will be made by the end of September 2007.

Among the prospective bidders are Li Ka-Shing, through his Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, 3i Group, MidAmerican Energy Holdings and infrastructure funds belonging to JP Morgan, UBS and Macquarie, media reports have revealed.