Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR), the second-largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water and wastewater utility, welcomed more than 13,600 new customers through five completed municipal acquisitions in 2018. With officials interested in having a professional utility maintain and operate their water and wastewater systems, Aqua partnered with these communities and successfully integrated the systems into existing operations.
Completed 2018 municipal acquisitions include the Village of Manteno, Illinois; Limerick Township, Pennsylvania; the Village of Peotone, Illinois; East Bradford Township, Pennsylvania; and the Tredyffrin Township Municipal Authority’s Valley Creek Trunk Sewer System in Pennsylvania.
Beyond municipal acquisitions, on Oct. 23, 2018 Aqua announced an agreement to acquire Pittsburgh-based natural gas company Peoples for $4.275 billion. Expected to close in mid-2019, Aqua will add 740,000 customers in Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia, while continuing to improve infrastructure reliability, quality of life and economic prosperity in these regions.
“When we look back at the history of Aqua America, I believe we will see 2018 as a turning point,” said Aqua Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. “From reaching our 1 million water and wastewater customer-connection milestone to announcing our strategic acquisition of Peoples, Aqua has and will always prioritize our customers and communities. We look forward to continuing to deliver the best possible experience for those we serve.”
Franklin sees a promising 2019 on the horizon, with seven pending water and wastewater acquisitions under agreement as of January totaling approximately 20,000 customer connections. Fair market value agreements are in place with Cheltenham, East Norriton, New Garden and Schuylkill townships in Pennsylvania, and the Village of Grant Park and Fox River Water Reclamation District’s Skyline system, both in Illinois. An agreement has also been reached to acquire Virginia’s Northern Neck Water Inc., a privately owned system. All are expected to close this year. Aqua has completed nearly 380 acquisitions since 1995.
“For Aqua, purchasing private and municipally owned systems is about more than growth. It allows us to do our part to strengthen water and wastewater infrastructure in the communities we serve, something that’s vitally important for the future,” said Franklin.
Aqua America is the second-largest publicly traded water utility based in the U.S. and serves over 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia. Aqua America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR. Visit www.AquaAmerica.com for more information.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including the Company’s 2019 results. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Aqua America’s business, please refer to Aqua America’s annual, quarterly and other SEC filings. Aqua America is not under any obligation – and expressly disclaims any such obligation – to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.