Aqua America Inc. purchased a total of nine water and wastewater utility systems in the third quarter, including a new acquisition in North Carolina. Coupled with the company's 15 purchases in the first half of 2005, Aqua America has expanded its national footprint with 24 acquisitions so far this year.
The company's North Carolina subsidiary, Heater Utilities, Inc., recently acquired the wastewater system at the Preserve at Jordan Lake in Chatham County. The system serves nearly 750 residents, with an additional 800 residents expected when the development reaches build-out. This transaction follows Aqua North Carolina's purchase of two systems - water and wastewater - in the Castle Bay development, marking the company's first entry into Pender County. Castle Bay is home to approximately 350 residents, with an additional 600 residents expected at build-out.
"The third quarter shows that the success of our growth-through-acquisition strategy continues at a steady pace," said Aqua America chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. "These acquisitions broaden our expansion in high-growth areas, particularly in North Carolina, plus they offer opportunities to grow earnings through a return on investment in the local infrastructure, which provides needed service and water quality improvements for customers."
The combined cost of the company's third quarter acquisitions is approximately $2.2 million. In addition to the three North Carolina transactions, Aqua America subsidiaries closed the following purchases in the third quarter:
-- August 2005 - Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. acquired the water
system assets of Meadowcrest Water Company, Inc. in Kingston
Township, Luzerne County, which serves approximately 1,100
-- July 2005 - Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. acquired five systems in
Luzerne County from Wilbar Realty, Inc. These acquisitions
-- Water and wastewater systems assets of the Laurel Lakes
development in Rice Township, serving approximately 520
Creek Township, serving approximately 220 residents.
-- Water system assets of Penn Lake Park Borough, serving
approximately 135 residents.
-- Water system assets of the Saint Johns area in Butler
Township, serving approximately 75 residents.
Aqua America, Inc. is the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded water company, serving more than 2.5 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, New York, and South Carolina.