A Japanese company has agreed to buy the company supplying the area with water.

Aqueduct Capital (UK) Limited announced yesterday that it has agreed to sell Sutton and east Surrey Water Group to Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corporation.

The new owners and existing management of the company say the sale should not affect the 655,000 people it supplies water to.

Anthony Ferrar, managing director of Sutton and East Surrey Water, said: "We are delighted to be joining such a strong and respected group as Sumitomo and to become part of a major corporation with a world-wide presence.

"Sumitomo Corporation has a strategic focus on building and investing in water infrastructure, which makes a contribution to improvements in living standards around the world. It intends to continue its strategy of becoming a major player in water infrastructure, and we look forward to playing our part in this exciting vision."

Sutton and East Surrey Water supplies a 322 square mile area, including South Croydon and Morden.