Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) announced today that its Pennsylvania subsidiary acquired the nearly 1,250-connection wastewater assets of East Bradford Township, Chester County for $5 million, marking Aqua Pennsylvania’s second acquisition to close under fair market valuation legislation, which encourages consolidation in a fragmented water and wastewater industry and allows resources to be shared among a larger service area.
Aqua Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin firmly believes these aspects benefit customers.
“Our acquisition of East Bradford is another example of how Act 12 can help a municipality ensure its residents have professional and reliable wastewater service into the future, while reaping the benefit of a fair price for its assets for their community,” said Franklin.
Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca looks forward to adding wastewater to the water service it already provides for East Bradford.
“I’d like to thank the community leaders of East Bradford Township for having the confidence to entrust their residents’ wastewater service to Aqua,” he said. “We’re proud to have the opportunity to now provide wastewater service to our East Bradford water customers, which enables us to offer greater economies of scale and operational efficiencies. We look forward to this additional service opportunity.”
Aqua Pennsylvania has three other fair market value asset purchase agreements in place: New Garden Township, Chester County with approximately 2,100 customer connections; and Cheltenham and East Norriton townships in Montgomery County with about 10,500 and 4,950 customer connections, respectively. In addition to these fair market value agreements, Aqua Pennsylvania has an asset purchase agreement with the Borough of Phoenixville, Chester County that would yield approximately 560 water connections. Collectively, when closed, these agreements, along with East Bradford, will allow the company to welcome more than 19,000 additional customers. Aqua Pennsylvania acquired the Limerick Township, Montgomery County wastewater system July 25 using Act 12, adding more than 5,400 customer connections.
Outside of Pennsylvania, Aqua America’s Illinois subsidiary acquired the Village of Manteno’s wastewater assets July 2, and the Village of Peotone wastewater system Oct. 1 employing similar Illinois legislation. These two acquisitions added more than 6,800 new customer connections and brought Aqua to its 1 million customer-connection milestone.
In terms of the company’s growth efforts in other regulated utilities, on Oct. 23, Aqua announced it will acquire Pittsburgh-based natural gas company Peoples for $4.275 billion, creating a platform that can have a more significant impact on improving infrastructure reliability, quality of life and economic prosperity in the areas it will serve. When this acquisition closes, expected in mid-2019, Aqua will add 740,000 customers in Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia to its family of companies.
Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water utilities and serves nearly 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 AquaAmerica.com for more information.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others: that the implementation of Act 12 allows resources to be shared to the benefit of utility customers and that the Aqua America and Peoples transaction will have a more significant impact on improving infrastructure reliability, quality of life, and economic prosperity in the areas the Company will serve following the closing of the transaction. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: the company’s ability to close the company’s and Peoples transaction, the company’s ability to close the company’s and Peoples transaction with reasonable conditions; general economic business conditions; the company’s ability to fund the Company and Peoples transaction; the company’s ability to fund capital growth; housing and customer growth trends; changes in regulations or regulatory treatment; availability and access to capital; the cost of capital; disruptions in the credit markets; the success of growth initiatives; and other 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.