July 20, 2018

New phase for CT Water, SJW merger

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | 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.

With no competing buyout offers in hand, Connecticut Water Service Inc. and its California suitor say they have refiled their $750 million merger application with Connecticut utility regulators and will pursue other approvals necessary to close their deal by year-end.

Connecticut Water, a publicly traded water utility based in Clinton, and SJW Group, parent of San Jose Water Co. and Connecticut Water's suitor, announced Friday that they resubmitted their merger application after withdrawing it in late June after both parties agreed to consider competing offers to an unsolicited bid from Hartford-Boston utility Eversource Energy.

Connecticut Water had previously rejected Eversource's initial $63.50-a-share offer and, earlier this month, turned aside Eversource's sweetened $64 a share bid as inadequate.

It and SJW Group subsequently solicited competing offers to SJW's bid. However, none was received as of July 14, Connecticut Water said.

Both resubmitted their merger application to Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Wednesday, Connecticut Water CEO David C. Benoit said.

Among commitments both companies made in their refiled PURA application, Benoit said, is that there will be no changes to customer rates nor any job cuts or employee layoffs as a result of the "merger of equals."

Also, Connecticut Water will retain headquarters in Clinton, keeping its local leadership teams in place.

"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,'' Benoit said in a statement. "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."

Read more

CT Water, suitor amend $1B merger pact

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