Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) announced today its Pennsylvania subsidiary has signed an agreement with East Norriton Township, Montgomery County to acquire its wastewater assets, serving roughly 4,950 wastewater connections, for $21 million. The agreement falls under Pennsylvania’s Act 12 fair market value legislation.
Act 12 encourages consolidation in a fragmented water and wastewater industry, allowing resources to be shared among a larger service area, ultimately benefiting utility customers, according to Aqua America Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin.
“Act 12 has enabled water utilities like Aqua and municipal systems like East Norriton to enter into agreements that benefit customers by ensuring professionally run, reliable service into the future,” said Franklin. “The legislation also provides municipalities with a fair market price for their assets, which can be used to address other important community priorities.”
Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca said he is looking forward to working with the township and residents in East Norriton.
“The decision to sell water and wastewater assets is an important one for municipal leaders,” said Lucca. “We look forward to serving this community.”
Aqua Pennsylvania has three other fair market value asset purchase agreements in place: New Garden and East Bradford townships in Chester County with 2,100 and 1,200 customer connections, respectively; and Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County with 10,500 customer connections. In addition to these three fair market value agreements, Aqua Pennsylvania has an asset purchase agreement with the Borough of Phoenixville, Chester County that would yield another 556 water connections outside its municipal boundary. Collectively, when closed, these five agreements would allow the company to welcome roughly 19,300 additional customer connections.
Aqua Pennsylvania completed the acquisition of the Limerick Township, Montgomery County wastewater system in July 2018 using Act 12 fair market value legislation, adding 5,400 customer connections.
Aqua America’s Illinois subsidiary completed acquisitions of the Village of Manteno’s wastewater assets July 2, and the Village of Peotone wastewater system on Oct. 1 and employing similar Illinois legislation, collectively adding more than 6,800 new customer connections and bringing Aqua America to its 1 million customer-connection milestone.
In terms of the company’s growth efforts in other regulated utilities, on Oct. 23, Aqua America announced it will acquire Pittsburgh-based natural gas company Peoples for $4.275 billion, creating a partnership 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 about 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.