January 10, 2019

Maine Water’s parent, SJW Group withdraw merger application in Conn.

Courtesy / Connecticut Water Service Inc.
Courtesy / Connecticut Water Service Inc.
Connecticut Water Service Inc., headquartered in Clinton, Conn., and the owner of Maine Water Co., announced Wednesday that along with SJW Group it was withdrawing their application to state regulators in Connecticut to merge in a $1.1 billion deal.

About Connecticut Water Service Inc.

Connecticut Water Service Inc. (NASDAQ: CTWS) is the parent company of Connecticut Water Co., Maine Water Co., The Avon Water Co., and The Heritage Village Water Co.. Together, these subsidiaries provide water service to more than 450,000 people in Connecticut and Maine, and wastewater service to more than 10,000 people in Connecticut.

About SJW Group

SJW Group (NYSE: SJW), headquartered in San Jose, Calif., is the parent company of San Jose Water, SJWTX Inc. and SJW Land Co.. Together, San Jose Water and SJWTX Inc. provide water service to more than 1 million people in San Jose, Calif., and nearby communities and in Canyon Lake, Texas, and the nearby communities. SJW Land Co. owns and operates commercial real estate investments.

Connecticut Water Service Inc., parent company of Maine Water Co., and California's SJW Group on Wednesday withdrew their application to state regulators in Connecticut to combine in a proposed $1.1 billion deal.

The withdrawal is in response to a preliminary decision by the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority in December to block SJW's acquisition bid — which was reaffirmed last week when regulators declined to reopen their review of the deal in order to consider new information the two companies hoped would change the regulators' minds.

Maine Public Utilities Commission, which also has been reviewing the proposed merger, halted its review in late December to await the final decision of regulators in Connecticut.

In a statement issued Wednesday, SJW Group and Connecticut Water said they were going to evaluate their regulatory approach and possibly re-submit a new application to the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority

"The SJW Group and Connecticut Water merger agreement remains in effect and the companies remain committed to the merger and to realizing its many stakeholder benefits," the companies said in a statement sent to Mainebiz. "As the companies evaluate their next steps with the support of regulatory counsel, they will be reviewing past utility transactions in Connecticut that were able to overcome PURA concerns and obtain the necessary regulatory approval. The companies are committed to a timely review of their options, taking all appropriate steps to serve the best interest of their respective stakeholders and shareholders."

It their preliminary decision in early December, Connecticut regulators argued the all-cash buyout would leave Connecticut Water in worse condition financially and managerially. They also expressed concern the combination lacks commitments to keep Connecticut Water's headquarters in Clinton, Conn., and local jobs in the state.

The companies offered new commitments to PURA, including assurances that the deal would maintain rates for Connecticut Water customers and ensure job projections in Connecticut, among other promises, but those were not enough to change the regulators' minds about authorizing the merger.

Read more

PUC delays review of merger involving Maine Water Co.’s parent

Connecticut regulators balk at $1.1B buyout of Maine Water Co. parent

Connecticut Water shareholders approve merger with SJW Group

SJW Group's merger with Maine Water Co.'s parent is now an all-cash deal

Maine Water parent to merge with California utility, becoming third-largest in U.S.


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