In September 2001 RWE / Thames Water announced the agreement to acquire American Water Works, the USA's largest privately owned water company.
The acquisition was the largest RWE had ever undertaken, and represented a major move into the important US market.
During 2002, as well as managing the approvals process for the American Water deal, Thames Water continued to drive forward across the rest of the world.
As part of the Metronet consortium, Thames Water was appointed as preferred bidder to take over the management and operation of major parts of London's underground network.
It also achieved further growth in Europe with the acquisition of the German water company RWW and purchased a 34 per cent stake in the Polish municipal water supplier PwiK.
In the same year, the purchase of Spanish water companies Ondagua and Pridesa (a desalination specialist) provided additional technical capabilities.
Thames Water also started work on a joint venture to provide water and wastewater to the people of Zagreb, Croatia.
In China, Thames Water purchased a 48 per cent stake in the China Water Company, providing the ideal platform for major expansion in the strategically important market.
Following the completion of the American Water acquisition in 2003, Thames Water provided water and wastewater services to some 70 million customers in 46 countries across the world.