Amey acquires leading connections company NDS

19 September 2012
Ground view of an Amey employee, fixing a street light.
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Leading public services provider Amey, which looks after 800,000 street lights across the UK, has acquired 100 per cent equity in the independent connections provider NDS – Nationwide Distribution Services.

It makes Amey one of the first companies in the UK to gain authorisation to self-deliver its own mains connections for street lighting schemes. This further enhances Amey’s existing capability in planning, design, installation, management and maintenance on street lighting contracts.

With responsibility for the total life cycle of street lighting schemes, Amey can now work with NDS to coordinate highways and street lighting works in order to reduce time, cost and disruption to the public.

In addition, the acquisition leads the demise of the long established monopoly arrangements held by the licensed Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), through de-regulation and the introduction of opportunities for competition in this key service provision.

Previously, Amey could only procure connections to the LV network infrastructure through UK DNOs, who have ownership of the electricity distribution networks. This meant that DNOs have controlled resources and influenced works programmes, timescales and costs for the connections delivery. Amey will now have greater control and management of work programmes and full lighting service delivery.

All of NDS’s staff – around 130 - will join Amey, with Sean Conway, Managing Director of NDS, taking a lead role in expanding the business.

Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey, said: “This acquisition allows Amey to deliver whole life asset management on our street lighting projects and individual schemes, which will improve planning, programming and scheme delivery and also generate time and cost savings for our local authority and highways customers.”

Sean Conway, Managing Director of NDS Ltd, said: “There are clear synergies between the work of NDS and Amey and by combining our expertise, we can deliver the best solutions for existing and new customers.”


Amey played a leading role in opening up this work to competition. Working as part of an industry consortium called the Electricity Connections Steering Group, the company helped persuade the energy regulator Ofgem and all DNOs to extend works open to competition, to include connections to LV mains.

NDS was started by Sean after learning his trade in Australia in 2005. His vision was to create an independent business across the UK. The company successfully grew and in 2009 achieved Lloyds Ners which gave NDS a leading edge within the industry.

The company is now one of the first to be granted permission to carry out street lighting on highways metered and unmetered connections on DNOs’ live low voltage (LV) distribution mains as an Independent Connections Provider.

Amey will project manage its own connections requirements and will carry out live jointing activities to the LV mains networks. Amey plans to self deliver as many connections as possible across the UK to help maximise efficiencies for clients and customers.


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