By Pittsburgh Business Times

Coraopolis-based Heckmann Corp. said it had divested itself of nine of 25 legal entities in China, three years after it had acquired China Water and Drinks in October 2008.

Heckmann Corp. (NYSE: HEK) sold the legal entities to Pacific Water & Drinks Group Ltd., which is owned by Jon Olafsson, co-founder and chairman of Icelandic Water Holdings Ltd. Heckmann receives 10 percent of the outstanding shares of Pacific Water & Drinks, but otherwise will not have any other business in China. Instead, said Heckmann CEO/Chairman Richard J. Heckmann, the company will focus on its domestic unit that includes water operations in oil and shale gas businesses.

The company took a charge of $25 million for the third quarter related to the transaction.

"We now have almost 1,100 employees in the U.S., up from fewer than 30 a year ago. We believe that the water business as it relates to shale gas and shale oil production will continue to drive our growth," Heckmann said.

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