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08 April 2005

East Surrey Holdings plc

TERRA FIRMA MAKES RECOMMENDED PROPOSALS FOR ACQUISITION OF EAST SURREY HOLDINGS PLC

PROPOSALS REFLECT CONFIDENCE IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND IN PHOENIX NATURAL GAS

Terra Firma today announced recommended proposals for the acquisition of East Surrey Holdings plc, the multi-utility infrastructure business comprising Phoenix Natural Gas, E.S. Pipelines and Sutton and East Surrey Water.

Commenting on Phoenix Natural Gas, Guy Hands, Terra Firma’s Chief Executive, said:

“Phoenix Natural Gas fits perfectly with our investment strategy of targeting assetintensive businesses with strong and reliable cashflows operating in basic service industries. We have a proven record of managing complex regulatory environments. I am sure that, under new ownership, Phoenix Natural Gas will continue to deliver high levels of service to its customers.

Terra Firma’s recommended proposals reflect our confidence in the long-term prospects for the Northern Ireland economy. Our investment recognises the company’s excellent track record and exciting growth prospects.

Phoenix Natural Gas has a proven high calibre management and Terra Firma is keen to back the team by providing the support and investment necessary to accelerate its expansion strategy.

Phoenix Natural Gas will continue to be a standalone business run from Belfast, and our aim is to invest and build a significant gas company, based on strong customer service, operating not only in Northern Ireland, but also in Great Britain and the rest of Ireland.”

Notes to Editor

Terra Firma is a private equity organisation made up of 50 professionals. Its focus is: geographically, on Europe; and strategically, on strong asset and cash flow businesses. As such, it is a leading private equity fund manager in Europe. Its most recent acquisitions are: in the UK, Waste Recycling Group, the landfill and power operations of Shanks Group and Odeon Cinemas; and in Europe, UCI Cinemas and Tank & Rast, the motorway service operator.

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