Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC) is in negotiations with UK-headquartered PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to appoint it as adviser on its part-privatisation of water and wastewater assets.

If successful, PwC is understood to be lined up to advise on the deal to sell a stake in NWC’s assets in Riyadh following the decision to split the privatisation process in two. Originally NWC was seeking an adviser to work on the privatisation of all its assets in Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, and Taif. It has now taken the decision to split the process in two, with Riyadh being privatised first, followed by a second process involving all the remaining assets.

Sources close to NWC say it is still unclear if NWC will restart the process of finding a transaction adviser for the second privatisation or if it will make a selection based on its existing bids.

When originally tendered as a single advisory mandate, NWC received three bids from UK-headquartered Ernst & Young, Netherlands-based KPMG and PwC. By 2014, NWC wants to select the private sector partner for the scheme, with assets transferred around a year later.