Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG) announced today that its Pennsylvania wastewater subsidiary has signed an asset purchase agreement (APA) with Willistown Township, Chester County to acquire the municipality's wastewater assets for $17.5 million. The pending transaction is subject to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approval.
Willistown serves approximately 2,300 customer-equivalents including residential and commercial connections with a system that includes about 30 miles of gravity and force mains and eight pump stations as well as a small wastewater treatment plant at Penn's Preserve.
"The Willistown wastewater system is the second municipal wastewater system with which we've signed an asset purchase agreement in the last month," said Essential Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin referring to the company's recently signed APA with East Whiteland Township. "Having also recently completed our acquisition of the New Garden Township wastewater system, we are looking forward to the positive impact we will have on multiple wastewater systems in Chester County."
In December 2018, Essential's unregulated subsidiary, Aqua Resources, purchased the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer which includes more than 9 miles of sewer main and two pump stations that receive sewage from several communities, including East Whiteland and Willistown townships, and conveys that waste to Valley Forge Sewer Authority where it's treated. Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca said, "We look forward to begin operating the wastewater collection systems in East Whiteland and Willistown, which will improve operational efficiencies including those of the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer line."
On December 22, 2020 Aqua Pennsylvania wastewater took ownership and started operations of the wastewater system at New Garden Township.
Willistown is the second APA executed by Aqua Pennsylvania in 2021. Including Willistown, Essential Utilities has six acquisitions currently under APA pending close representing approximately $438 million of rate base and approximately 227,000 equivalent retail customers or equivalent dwelling units. In 2020, Essential closed five acquisitions representing approximately $63 million of rate base and approximately 12,000 customer-equivalents.
Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit http://www.essential.co.
About Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater
Aqua Pennsylvania Wastewater is a subsidiary of Aqua Pennsylvania and serves approximately 43,000 connections in 16 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others: the company's ability to receive governmental approval of the transactions and to successfully close the acquisitions. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions; the receipt of governmental approvals; the successful closing of the acquisitions; the successful integration of the customers and the facilities; successful donation efforts to organizations; effects of pandemics or other widespread health problems; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Essential Utilities' business, please refer to Essential Utilities' annual, quarterly and other SEC filings. Essential Utilities 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.
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