May 8, 2018

SJW Group, CT Water file merger applications with CT, Maine regulators

Photos | Contributed
Photos | Contributed
Killingworth Reservoir is among 253 in-state reservoirs and wells Connecticut Water Service Inc. taps to provide potable water to about one in 10 Connecticut residents.

SJW Group of San Jose, Calif., and Clinton-based Connecticut Water Service Inc. have filed their merger applications with state regulators in Maine and Connecticut, hoping to get the blessing for their proposed $750 million combination.

The applications to the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) come as both companies face acquisition bids from other suitors.

Eversource Energy has made a competing offer to purchase Connecticut Water Service, while SJW Group is being pursued by California Water Service Group.

Despite those outside pressures, SJW and Connecticut Water said they hope to complete their deal by the fourth quarter of this year.

"This is an important milestone in the regulatory approval process," said David C. Benoit, president and CEO of Connecticut Water. "We are eager to demonstrate to our regulators the clear benefits of the merger for our customers, employees and communities that can be realized through the sharing of best practices, operational expertise and resources of the combined company. Through the merger, we will have the unique benefit of being able to maintain our presence and locally-based teams of water professionals in Connecticut and Maine to deliver safe, reliable water service in our communities while being part of a larger, stronger national organization."

Both companies commit in the applications that there will be no changes to customer rates nor any job cuts or employee layoffs after the merger.

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, including the approval of the issuance of shares by SJW Group stockholders, the approval of Connecticut Water shareholders, the approvals of the PURA and the MPUC and the approval of the Federal Communications Commission.

On April 30, 2018, SJW Group and Connecticut Water announced that the Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the Hart Scott Rodino waiting period for the companies' merger.

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