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2006 Water Business News

 

Open Energy Corporation acquires WaterEye Corporation and its proprietary remove water monitoring systems

The all stock transaction is worth approximately $3 million. David Saltman, President and CEO of Open Energy Corporation, said WaterEye's customers include GE Water, Siemens, Dow, Dupont and Poseidon Resources. He said the monitoring package will be important when Open Energy launches Suncone CSP systems next year.Open Energy Corp. focuses on the development and commercialization of renewable energy products and technologies for solar energy, power production, and water desalination. Water Eye is headquartered in Grass Valley, California and provides secure ASP based remote monitoring and diagnostic services.  News Release/Business Wire_ 12/22/06

Hyflux proposes selling 50% stake in SingSpring, owner of Singapore's first seawater desalination plant

Temasek Holdings owns the remaining half of SingSpring. Hyflux plans to hold 30 percent of the units in the SingSpring Trust. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hyflux Engineering, will continue to operate the SingSpring desalination plant. Channel News Asia_ 12/21/06

Aqua America Inc. subsidiaries add five water and wastewater acquisitions in New Jersey and North Carolina

The combined purchase price for the acquisitions is approximately $120,000, and the company plans further capital investments to enhance water quality and wastewater service. Aqua New Jersey, Inc. acquired the water and wastewater system assets serving 400 residents in North Hanover Township, Burlington County. The systems provide water and wastewater service to approximately 400 residents. The company plans to invest more than $300,000 over the next five years for capital improvements to both systems. In North Carolina, the company closed four transactions serving 350 residents. Three are troubled water systems that are eligible for a special state program that provides incentives for making required capital investments to address water quality, service reliability and water pressure problems. Aqua America is the largest U.S.-based publicly traded water and wastewater utility holding company in the country, serving more than 2.5 million residents in 13 states. News Release_ 12/21/06

Vortex Corporation and Cool Chili partner to deliver water-cooler products to Europe
They’ll use Vortex’s UltraviOzone™ technology funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Cool Chili will be the exclusive commercial distributor in ten markets, including Norway, France, Germany and Spain. Point-of-use (POU) water cooler usage increased by 30 percent for the sixth consecutive year, according to a recent report released by Zenith International. The co-branded water coolers are expected to reach market in May 2007. UltraviOzone naturally purifies water by combining the synergistic effects of ultraviolet light, ozone and photo-oxidation, mimicking the water purification phenomenon that occurs in the environment. The system has the potential to significantly reduce (or eliminate) the U.S. dependency on chlorine as a primary disinfectant in water treatment. News Release_ 12/15/06

Singapore's Temasek to launch infrastructure fund; water and power first assets

The Singapore state investment company, will launch a regional infrastructure fund on the Singapore Exchange early next year, according to people familiar with the plan. Temasek will raise up to $US150 million ($196 million) from the sale of shares in the fund, which is expected to include initially about $US500 million in power and water assets the company already owns. The move is meant to help boost Singapore's ambitions as a financial hub by promoting new products. Australia's Macquarie Bank, the world's largest private manager of infrastructure, was the first to launch an infrastructure fund in Singapore in May 2005. Infrastructure funds are becoming popular among institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurers, because they offer stable returns based on predictable cash flows. Temasek has a half-stake in SingSpring, a local water desalination plant built by Hyflux, a Singaporean water treatment company. Morgan Stanley has been hired as adviser for the fund's initial public offering. The Australian_ 11/18/06

American Water set for consolidation
The U.S. water industry is set for a wave of consolidation, and American Water expects to be an acquirer, said Chief Executive Donald L. Correll, whose company is preparing to become the biggest publicly traded U.S. water utility.  American Water's parent, Germany-based gas and electric company RWE AG, is ready to spin off the Voorhees, N.J.-based company next year through an initial public offering. Correll is hoping American Water can obtain all necessary regulatory approvals for the IPO to happen in the second quarter.  The size of an American Water IPO could mean a dramatic increase in investor awareness for the water industry, Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Debra Coy said. American Water, with a possible market capitalization of about $5 billion, could single-handedly double the industry's overall market capitalization, she said.  American Water serves 18 million people, stretching from Hawaii to Indiana to New York, and had $2.2 billion in 2005 annual revenue. The current titleholder for biggest publicly traded U.S. water utility is Aqua America Inc., which has over 2.5 million customers and $496.8 million in 2005 revenue.

Houston Chronicle_11/2/06

Pall Corp. gets $15.8 million contract for Minneapolis water treatment system

Pall will provide a membrane ultrafiltration water treatment system – which is a tightly woven filter that only allows molecules under a certain size to pass through – to the Minneapolis Water Works' Fridley membrane filtration plant. The City of Minneapolis draws its drinking water from the Mississippi River, according a statement issued by Pall, which is based in East Meadow, New York. Old Man River’s water quality often fluctuates in temperature and cloudiness – hence its other nickname, ‘Old Muddy." Pall said its Aria ultrafiltration membrane can block viruses, bacteria and other contaminants from entering the drinking water. Long Island Business Journal_ 10/26/06

Mueller Water Products to close El Monte, California plant

Mueller Water Products Inc., a subsidiary of Walter Industries Inc. that sells water-safety and conservation products, said Wednesday it will close its James Jones manufacturing facility in El Monte, Calif. The operation is expected to close by June and affect about 155 employees. The production of James Jones brass products will be moved to Mueller's Decatur, Ill., brass foundry, while hydrant assembly function will move to Mueller's Albertville, Ala., plant. AP/Kiplinger Forecasts_ 10/25/06

Black & Veatch completes acquisition of UK's MJ Gleeson's water business

MJ Gleeson has annual water business revenues of nearly $380 million (200 million GBP) and the transaction more than doubles the size of Black & Veatch's existing UK water operations. With the addition of more than 900 new professionals, Black & Veatch now has nearly 2,000 professionals in its UK workforce and approximately 8,500 professionals across its global business lines. In a related announcement, Black & Veatch outlined a new organizational structure with Bruce Ainsworth leading the company's European water operations and Tony Collins, the former managing director of MJ Gleeson's water business, in charge of Black & Veatch's expanded UK water business. Press Release_ 10/19/06

Black & Veatch introduces water utility Safety and Crisis Management solutions

The new product is offered through Black & Veatch's Enterprtise Management Solutions (EMS) consulting division. The EMS solution set includes best practices in operational safety and in developing management and response plans for hazard identification, mitigation, emergency preparedness and response plans for natural and man-made threats. The program will be headed by John Borowski, CIH, CSP, National Consulting Practice Leader of Safety and Health for Black & Veatch. Prior to joining EMS, Borowski led development of the innovative Safety-Thru-Design Initiative for Black & Veatch's water business, which allowed the company to identify potentially unsafe conditions and design, or install, safety devices that enhance safe operations and reduce risk. Borowski also led the company's work that resulted in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Water Works Foundation grant support for the research project "Integration of Worker Safety and Health into Water Utility Management, Operation and New Facility Design." News Release_ 10/17/06

UK's Thames Water to be sold to Australian investment fund Macquarie for £7billion to £10billion

Macquarie-led Kemble Water tabled an £8billion ($14.9billion) bid for Thames - owned by Germany's RWE - which represents a 20% premium on the group's value. The bid is thought to have beaten one from Qatar's Investment Authority. RWE's supervisory board must now give its backing to the bid and its executives are expected to meet to discuss the offer over the weekend. Once the deal is approved, Macquarie said it would deliver further information about the "transaction and its ambitions and plans for this important business". BBC News_ 10/16/06

French businessman Francois Pinault to buy Suez water business for US$22.6 billion

Pinault is ready to pay 18 billion euros (22.6 billion dollars) for Suez's water and waste management activities, which could derail the company's merger with GDF, the Les Echos reported. The business daily said Pinault has joined up with the Italian group Enel, which was ready to launch a hostile bid for Suez to acquire its energy assets before the French government stepped in to merge the company with Gaz de France. AFP/Yahoo_ 10/12/06

Qatar emerges as a front runner in bidding war for UK's Thames Water

An official with Qatar's Investment Authority confirmed his government's interest in buying Thames Water from German owner RWE. Hussain Al Abdulla declined to reveal how much the state-owned investment authority had bid for Thames Water. However, he said the bids already in from interested parties had ranged between £7bn and £10bn. Thames Water supplies water to eight million people across London and the South of England and provides sewage services to 13 million customers. The first round of bidding for Thames Water ends this week. BBC News_ 10/9/06

East Anglian water firm AIG backs latest $4.2 billion bid from Osprey consortium

The 1,578 pence-a-share offer, made earlier on Monday, marks an increase from the original bid of 1,555 pence. As well as raising its offer, Osprey increased its stake in the firm from 9.6% to 21.1%, in a move designed to forestall any rival bids. The Osprey consortium includes Colonial First State Global Asset Management, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Canada Pension Investment Board, 3i group and Industry Funds Management Osprey. BBC News_ 10/9/06

Investors eye water due to weather, demographics
Climate change, increasing desertification and growing populations will increase the appeal of investment in water, but authorities' grip on supplies will limit opportunities, experts said on Thursday.  "Demand (for water) is rising, and supply is under pressure," Kimberly Tara, chief executive officer of FourWinds Capital Management, an investment marketing group, told a conference.  Delegates said global warming and increasing desertification due to soil erosion in many parts of the world, made water an increasingly valuable commodity.  Growing populations and urbanisation in developing countries have put a premium on investments in water infrastructure and industrial processing of water.  Agriculture accounts for about 70 percent of global water consumption, with a further 22 percent used by industry, said Greg Smith, executive director of Global Commodities, a trade house.  "In some parts of the world we are consuming up to 30 times the replenishment rate of the water table."  Tara said the scarcity of water meant that authorities in many countries kept a tight control of supplies and price, limiting investment opportunities.   Reuters_10/5/06

Aqua America closes five more acquisitions, bringing year's total to 18

Aqua America Inc.  announced today that it completed four water system acquisitions and purchased another wastewater services business as the third quarter of 2006 came to a close. The latest acquisitions, with a combined purchase price of nearly $600,000, add to previously announced transactions for the third quarter, resulting in a total of five utility acquisitions and three in the wastewater services and disposal business for the quarter. During the first nine months of 2006, the company completed a total of 18 acquisitions. The company's non-regulated subsidiary, Aqua Wastewater Management, Inc., recently purchased the assets of Bregande Excavating, Inc. of Glen Mills, PA, further expanding its wastewater services and septage hauling business in southeastern Pennsylvania. Press Release_ 10/5/06

UK water supplier AWG Plc agrees to be bought for $4.13 billion

AWG Plc, the water supplier for 6 million customers in eastern England, agreed to be bought by a group led by Canadian and Australian investors for 2.21 billion pounds ($4.13 billion) and said another bidder may offer more. The buyers include 3i Group Plc. Water companies are attracting investors such as Guy Hands and 3i as they offer predictable revenue growth and returns that have outpaced oil in the past two years. Hastings Funds Management Ltd., an Australian infrastructure and alternative investment fund, today said it would buy South East Water Ltd., the U.K.'s second-largest water-only utility, for 665.4 million pounds. South East Water, part of a fund managed by Macquarie Bank Ltd., serves 1.5 million people in counties including Kent and Surrey. Global utility deals have soared to a record $212.2 billion over the past 12 months, a 79 percent rise compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Total mergers and acquisitions for the period are at the highest in at least six years, the data shows. Bloomberg_ 10/2/06

September, 2006

Investors bet on rising costs for scarce water

Investors who have seen energy prices rocket due to scarce supplies are starting to wager that forecasted shortages will cause the value of water to skyrocket, offering big gains to companies active in the sector. Unlike globally traded commodities like oil, gold or wheat, water tends to be priced locally by authorities who provide it as a public good, generally drawing from nearby sources such as lakes or river basins. In the absence of a futures market in water, speculators have bought shares in utilities and water-related companies such as Waste Management, ITT Corp., American States Water and Suez, expecting them to profit from intensified efforts to tackle water scarcity. Investors can also track stock market water indices like the Dow Jones U.S. Water Index, the International Securities Exchange ISE-B&S Water Index and the Palisades Water Index. Reuters_ 9/18/06

Foreign firms linked to water bid
Canadian and Australian firms have been linked with a potential bid for AWG, the company which owns Anglian Water.  AWG shares soared on Thursday after the firm said it had received an approach from an unnamed party which could result in a takeover bid.  Media reports have suggested a Canadian state pension fund administrator and an Australian fund manager are part of a consortium behind the approach.  Anglian Water serves about six million customers, mainly in eastern England.  BBC News_9/15/06

Qatar ahead in £7 billion race to buy Thames Water

A consortium spearheaded by Qatar's state-owned investment fund is the frontrunner to buy Thames Water for about £7 billion, according to City investment bankers. Qatar is believed to have lodged a bid that is significantly higher than an offer from City financier Guy Hands whose Terra Firma group is also battling to take control of Thames, owned by RWE of Germany. Sources warn that things could still change and that final offers are not due until 9 October. But bankers say that Hands will have to 'push the boat out' if he is to win the bidding war as cash-rich Qatar is prepared to dig deep to secure Thames - acquired by the Germans in 2000 for about £4.5 billion. Several other groups are still in the running, but their prospects are fading. Macquarie, the Australian investment group, needs to offload South East Water if it is avoid regulatory obstacles, but potential buyers are hesitant to commit to a sale before they know whether the Australians will be able to outbid Qatar and Hands. Another consortium bidding for Thames, comprising Borealis, the Canadian Pension Plan, and 3i, the venture capital group, is thought to have failed to gain financial backing. Guardian Unlimited_ 9/10/06

Prudential Insurance in talks with Macquarie over bids for Thames Water

It is understood that the insurer has yet to decide whether to join Macquarie, the Australian investment bank, but it is keen to gain exposure to some of the infrastructure assets currently being sold in Britain. Thames is being sold by its German owner, RWE, which hopes to raise £7bn from the sale. Macquarie has been trying to form a consortium to bid for Thames for weeks. It is keen to mount a bid to rival the offers from Guy Hands' Terra Firma Capital Partners and a consortium comprising the investment arm of the state of Qatar and UBS, the investment bank. Telegraph_ 9/10/06

Dow Chemical launches new water unit, Dow Water Solutions

The new unit consists of brands and technologies for purifying, recycling and desalinating water. Dow estimated the unit will book annual revenue of $350 million. With more than 1,000 employees, the unit has five production facilities making filmtec reverse osmosis membranes, dowex ion-exchange resins, ultrafiltration and electrodeionization products and other technologies. The products allow water-treatment providers to meet more rigorous water-quality standards through such uses as desalinating seawater. The company said it has bought a portfolio of complementary businesses supporting water-purification systems, including Zhejiang Omex Environmental Engineering Co. AP/Kiplinger Forecasts_ 9/8/06

Opinion: Privatizing water

In a world where 75 percent of the earth and its living creatures consist of water, there is less and less available. The dwindling supply of potable water for our ever-growing population is becoming privatized as large corporations like Bechtel in the United States and Vivendi, Suez, Thames Water and others in Europe have purchased large water delivery systems and water rights. The privatization and commoditization of the most precious, life-sustaining substance on Earth has the potential to decide who gets access to water, when and at what cost.  The Rebel Yell_9/7/06

RWE to sell Thames Water debt before unit sale

German utility RWE AG unveiled a major financial restructuring of its Thames Water unit on Wednesday, aimed at making Britain's largest water company financially independent before a sale by 2007. In a statement, RWE said it would sell off 875 million pounds of Thames Water debt that it owns, while Thames will issue new bonds, in "an important step" towards the stock market listing or trade sale of the British company. RWE wants to sell its water business, which also includes American Water, to focus on electricity and gas like its bigger rival E.ON. Reuters_ 9/6/06

Tokyo Report: Water treatment market attracting attention

With water shortages and contamination worsening in many parts of the world, water-related businesses are drawing global attention as a potentially lucrative market. Toray Industries Inc. is pinning high hopes on its desalination business, which may become a "cash cow," as Senior Managing Director Akihiro Nikkaku puts it. Among other Japanese companies involved in water-related businesses, Sanyo Electric Co. launched a joint project in June with Institut Technologi Bandung, a water quality research authority in Indonesia, to develop a water decontamination system for household use, hoping to put it on the market this autumn. Jiji Press/Mainichi_ 9/4/06

August, 2006

Investors have a big thirst for water

Who says oil and water don't mix? Not T. Boone Pickens. As CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason reports, Pickens, a Texas billionaire who made his fortune in black gold, is now investing in a blue liquid. Pickens' new company, Mesa Water, has been buying up ground water rights in Roberts County, Texas — 200,000 acres in all. He says that over a 30-year period, he expects to make more than $1 billion on his investment of $75 million. Pickens isn’t the only investor with a big thirst for water: GE has bought four water companies. Water is now a $400 billion global industry — the third-largest behind oil and electricity. The difference: There are alternatives to those two energy sources. Water itself isn't scarce. But clean water is. For investors, the lack of usable water around the world is making it almost as valuable as oil. CBS_ 8/16/06

Three bids emerge for Thames Water

German utility RWE AG has received three indicative offers for Thames Water, the business which it is trying to sell for about 7 billion pounds, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. First-round offers came from UK financier Guy Hands' Terra Firma Capital Partners as well as from a group led by investment bank UBS AG, which includes the bank's infrastructure fund and the Qatar government among its investors. Australia's Macquarie Bank Limited also made an offer before the noon deadline on Tuesday but the sources said its consortium is not yet fully in place. Buyout firm 3i Group Plc and Canada's Borealis Infrastructure fund, which had considered making a bid for the water company, did not make an offer, the sources said, adding the companies may yet join one of the other consortia. Reuters_ 8/15/06

Australians may launch bid for Thames Water

Australian utility group and infrastructure investor Alinta is considering a bid for Thames Water as first round offers for the water utility are expected to be submitted this week. Thames Water has put been put up for sale by its German parent RWE and has appointed investment banks Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to examine a sale or flotation. Goldman Sachs, which is handling the auction, put back the bid deadline until August 15 to allow the various consortia extra time to come up with offers. Sources close to the situation said that Alinta is now working with investment bank JP Morgan on a potential bid.  Telegraph_ 8/14/06

Calgon Carbon awarded South Korean drinking water treatment contract

Calgon Carbon Corporation announced today that it has been awarded a contract by K-Water
Group to supply approximately 1.7 million pounds of granular activated
carbon (GAC) to the Banwol Water Plant in AhnSan, South Korea for drinking
water purification. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Banwol plant, which is operated by K-Water Group, supplies 50 million
gallons of potable water per day for the 300,000 residents in AhnSan. With
responsibility for providing over 50% of South Korea's potable water
capacity, K-Water is viewed as the leader of the water treatment
industry in Korea. Calgon Carbon has already provided GAC for municipal
water treatment to four other drinking water plants in Korea, two of them
operated by K-Water. Press Release/PRNewswire-FirstCall_ 8/11/06

RWE sets year-end deadline for sale of Thames Water, American Water

RWE, the German owner of Thames Water, insisted yesterday that it was making progress with the sale of the UK water business, despite pushing back the deadline for final bids. Harry Roels, chief executive of the energy group, said that the sale of Thames and American Water Works, its US business, would be completed before the end of the year. RWE is still undecided on how to dispose of Thames and is examining options for both a float and a trade sale. Two potential buyers are thought to be definitely interested in buying Thames: Guy Hands’s Terra Firma and a consortium led by UBS’s infrastructure fund, which involves the Qatar Investment Authority. Other infrastructure and pension funds are thought to have looked at Thames, including Macquarie’s infrastructure fund and Borealis, the Canadian pension fund. However, it is not clear whether any of these will submit an offer before the August 15 deadline. TimesOnLine_ 8/11/06

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality authorizes use of Aquacell Water Inc.'s arsenic removal system

The Cold Water Canyon Water Company was authorized to provide drinking water to its customers through the arsenic removal system Aquacell built and installed at the water company's Indian Hills well site. This is the first arsenic removal system to go on-line in Arizona for public drinking water that uses ADSORBSIA™ GTO™ titanium-based media from The Dow Chemical Company. Aquacell Water, Inc. headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, manufactures in Tempe, Arizona, custom-designed turn-key water filtration and purification systems for municipal, industrial, commercial, and institutional applications around the world. Press Release_ 8/10/06

Connecticut Water selected to operate and manage University of Connecticut's water systems

Connecticut Water Service Inc.'s subsidiary, New England Water Utility Services, was recently selected through a competitive bidding process by the University of Connecticut to provide for the total operation, management and maintenance of the University's water systems at the Storrs and Depot Campuses. Connecticut Water and the University have signed an Operating Agreement for a two-year term with an option to extend it for two additional one-year terms. If extended for both additional terms, the value of the total agreement will exceed $1.75 million. Press Release/Business Wire_ 8/3/06

Qatar and UBS lining up bid for Thames Water

Qatar's state-owned investment fund has teamed up with Swiss banking group UBS to bid for Thames Water, Britain's largest water and waste group, the Financial Times reported on its Web site on Thursday.  Thames Water is owned by German utility RWE AG which plans to float or sell the utility.  UBS will use its Global Infrastructure fund, launched in May, to provide part of the financing for the deal which could value Thames Water at up to 7 billion pounds ($13.1 billion), the FT said.  Bidders for Thames Water have been asked to submit indicative offers on about August 7, people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.  Scotsman.com_8/3/06

Aqua America subsidiary expands wastewater hauling business with $5.6 million buy of Pennsylvania's Charles M. Perna, Inc.

Aqua America, Inc. announced today that its non-regulated subsidiary, Aqua Wastewater Management, Inc. (Aqua), has purchased the assets of Charles M. Perna, Inc., which also does business as Perna Wastewater Management (Perna), one of the largest wastewater and septage hauling companies serving eastern Pennsylvania. The $5.6 million transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings. Perna currently serves residential, commercial and municipal customers with septage hauling services, bulk liquid waste disposal, maintenance and field work. Headquartered in Souderton, Pennsylvania, the company's service territory reaches across eastern Pennsylvania into portions of New Jersey. The announcement follows Aqua's purchase in May of the Leary and Higgins waste hauling business in Chester County, PA. Aqua launched its non-regulated septage venture in April 2005 with the acquisition of Concord Wastewater Services, Inc. in Delaware County, PA. With the addition of Perna, Aqua's growing waste hauling business will represent approximately two percent of the company's annual sales. Aqua America, Inc. is the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded water and wastewater utility holding 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. Press Release_ 7/31/06

Dow concludes water-treatment firm purchase
Dow Chemical Co completed its acquisition of a leading Chinese water-treatment company to further strengthen its portfolio in the sector.  The purchase of Zhejiang Omex Environmental Engineering Co, based in Huzhou in Zhejiang Province, is believed to be the first privately run firm to be acquired by Dow in the Chinese market.  Terms of the deal were not revealed as the sum fell below US regulatory requirements for disclosure, said Ian M. Barbour, general manager for Dow Water Solutions.  The acquisition will help Dow expand its presence in the growing global market for filtration systems and equipment and give OEE easier channels to the international market, said Barbour.  The demand for environmentally sustainable water treatment equipment is growing fast in China and around the world, and many giant international companies such as Siemens AG and General Electric Co are involved in the business.  China Daily_7/14/06

Suez SA studying sale of its 16% stake in Manila's water utility - Philippines government

The Philippines government will dispose of its 84 percent holding in Maynilad Water Services in October. The government is selling cash-strapped Maynilad in a repeat privatisation after it re-acquired a majority stake in the water utility last year from conglomerate Benpres Holdings Corp. in a debt-to-equity swap deal. "They have tag-along options," Agnes Devanadera, government corporate counsel who is overseeing the Maynilad sale, told reporters regarding Suez. The government has set a minimum bid of $56.4 million for its 84 percent holdings in Maynilad, apart from a $30 million performance bond. Reuters_ 7/13/06

Argentina province rescinds water company concession

Buenos Aires' provincial government on Wednesday rescinded the water and sewage concession contract granted to Aguas del Gran Buenos Aires (AGBA), saying the company had not met its obligations. The decision by Gov. Felipe Sola mirrored a similar move by the federal government in March to take over the country's largest water supplier after cancelling a concession contract with Aguas Argentinas, controlled by France's Suez. In this case, Italian construction firm Impregilo and Spain's Dragados held a 43 percent and 27 percent share, respectively, in AGBA, while Spain's Aguas de Bilbao Vizkaia had a 20 percent stake and workers held 10 percent. Reuters_ 7/12/06

Aqua America acquires water, wastewater utility assets of Hood County, Texas for $975K

Aqua America, Inc. revealed that it has acquired the water and wastewater utility assets of Hood County Utilities for $975 thousand. The acquisition consists of three water systems and one wastewater utility, which serve more than 2,200 residents near Granbury in Hood County, the company added.  The company stated that the Hood County acquisition expands Aqua's regional network in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by adding the acquired water systems serving the River Run and Lakeside Hills residential communities, and the water and wastewater systems for the Blue Water Shores subdivision.  Trading Markets_7/12/06

Aqua America, the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water company, buys two small North Carolina water systems

Pennsylvania-based Aqua America Inc. bought the water utility serving 70 residents in the Coral Park community near Lincolnton. The company's Aqua North Carolina Inc. subsidiary will spend nearly $40,000 to build a new well and install a new water main. And the company has purchased the water system serving the 100 residents of the West Haven Mobile Home Community near China Grove in Rowan County. Aqua America is eligible for refunds on its investments under a program established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission for troubled water systems. Financial terms of the acquisitions weren't disclosed. Charlotte Business Journal_ 7/3/06

June, 2006

Dow to buy China water treatment company
Dow Chemical Co. said it will buy a Chinese water treatment company for undisclosed terms.  The Chinese company will mesh with some of Dow's existing units to create Dow Water Solutions, which will focus on water purification, Dow said. The purchase also gives Dow further penetration into certain areas of the Chinese market, which Dow called one of the fastest growing regions for water treatment components.  Zhejiang Omex Environmental Engineering Co. employs more than 500 people and has a new custom-built 20,000 square meter facility.  Chron.com_6/29/06

Bombardier sued over aircraft water system
International Water-Guard Industries Inc. is taking Bombardier Inc. to court in a patent dispute over a potable water system for aircraft.  Montreal-based Bombardier is Canada's largest aerospace company and one of the world's largest manufacturers of small jets and propeller-powered planes. IWG specializes in water treatment systems for aircraft.  In its claim, filed in Federal Court, IWG says Bombardier has infringed on a Canadian patent and seeks an injunction that would prevent Bombardier from using the technology in its products and for unspecified damages and compensation.  The Star.com_6/27/06

Water outperforms oil, luring Pickens, GE's Immelt, Guy Hands

The lack of usable water worldwide has made it more valuable than oil. The Bloomberg World Water Index of 11 utilities returned 35 percent annually since 2003, compared with 29 percent for oil and gas stocks and 10 percent for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. From hedge fund manager Boone Pickens to buyout specialist Guy Hands, the world's biggest investors are choosing water as the commodity that may appreciate the most in the next several decades. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than 2 billion people in 48 countries will be short of water. Bloomberg_ 6/26/06

U.S. Filter will play a key role in an agreement between parent company

Siemens AG and Israel's national water company Mekorot

U.S. Filter, based in Warrendale, Pa., and with annual sales of more than $1.2 billion, will work with the Israeli company on water treatment solutions for countries located in arid regions.  Mekorot, with annual sales of more than $500 million, supplies 90 percent of Israel's drinking water and 70 percent of its overall water supply. The partnership joins the companies in a strategic partnership to develop and market technologies for wastewater treatment and reuse, desalination, and water treatment security techniques and solutions.  The agreement will allow Mekorot early access to new water filtration technologies being developed by U.S. Filter and will also give the Israeli company marketing assistance for its technologies.  Siemens estimates that the market for water reuse and recycling technologies is $40 billion and will double in the next eight to 10 years.

Pittsburgh Business Times_6/15/06

Unique water deal lets Los Angles bypass MWD charges
In a drive for water reminiscent of the days of William Mulholland, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has signed a deal that will allow it to bypass the powerful Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and buy some water directly from farmers and water districts.  Under the agreement, the DWP will be able to make deals with water districts in Northern and Central California, then hook into the California Aqueduct - the state's main conduit for water transfers - and pump the water into Los Angeles' supply.  The move could save the city up to $4 million a year in MWD service charges, giving residents cheaper and more reliable water deals to replace the water the DWP must leave in the Owens Valley.  "It's a very good deal, but it's the kind of deal that in the past utilities would not have done. I think it's an example of innovation and leadership and making sure we can provide water to the people of Los Angeles for the future," said Mary Nichols, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.  The agreement comes after years of negotiations between state and local water interests, which had to be assured their water rights would be protected - and that Los Angeles would not become a competitor vying for water on the open market.  Daily News.com_6/9/06

PepsiCo will distribute Starbucks' Ethos bottled water

PepsiCo Inc. has agreed to distribute Starbucks Ethos bottled spring water as the companies seek to expand their existing joint venture for Frappuccino and DoubleShot coffee drinks.  Pepsi will package and distribute Ethos water to more than 100,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada under the new agreement, the Purchase, New York, company said today in a joint statement with Seattle-based Starbucks. Previously, Ethos water was sold at 5,000 Starbucks stores and some small retailers. Financial terms were not disclosed.  The world's largest coffee-shop chain has pledged at least $10 million over the next five years for non-profit organizations that promote safe drinking water around the world. It donates 5 cents for each bottle of Ethos water sold. The beverage costs about $2 per bottle.  Chicago Tribune_6/8/06

GE finance arm could buy Suez water assets
A financial unit of General Electric Co. may be interested in the water assets of French utility giant Suez as it aims to boost investment in the sector in Europe, the unit's head told Reuters.  Italy's Enel said in February it might bid for Suez and, although it has never made a formal bid, it still considers the French firm as a possible acquisition, Morgan Stanley said on Wednesday after meeting with management.  Sources familiar with the situation have said Enel would spin off the water business of Suez to focus on Belgian utility Electrabel .  "If in this transaction ... Enel is buying Suez and wants to spin off Suez's water business and we are partnered with someone with operational capabilities, we could be the financial partner in that arrangement," GE Energy Financial Services President and CEO Alex Urquhart told Reuters on Wednesday.  Urquhart said he was speaking in general terms about a deal which would fit his company's plans to expand in the water business in Europe, and added he would want to know the details of Enel's possible plans before making more precise comments. 

Washington Post_6/7/06

Australian banking giant Macquarie poised for £400 million sale of UK's South East Water as it prepares to bid for Thames Water

RWE, the German owner of Thames Water, has told Macquarie that to prevent competition concerns hampering its bid for Thames Water, it needs to transfer ownership of its existing water company. Macquarie is lining up other banks which could temporarily take ownership of South East Water. These are unlikely to include serial investors in the water sector, such as Royal Bank of Scotland, which already owns a controlling stake in Southern Water, and so would face competition concerns itself if it tried to buy South East Water. As well as Macquarie, called the millionaires factory, at least two other consortia are preparing bids: Guy Hands's buyout firm, Terra Firma, has teamed up with Citigroup, and Hong Kong-based infrastructure fund CKI. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, UBS and Ontario Teachers Pension Funds are also understood to be considering joining other consortia to make bids. The Independent_ 6/4/06

Cebuano water firm obtains bigger cut of Manila market
Asian desalination pioneer

Cebu-grown Mactan Rock Industries Inc., (MRII) a water technology solutions provider, is now serving the water needs of 10 more companies in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.  These companies include Waterfront Davao, Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel, Manila Pavilion Hotel, International Port in Manila, Kraft Foods, City State Building in Mandaluyong and De Los Santos Hospital in Quezon City.  “I’m happy to say that these Manila-based firms are now availing (themselves of) the services of a Cebu-based company rather than patronizing imported and expensive water technology processes,” MRII president and chief executive officer Antonio Tompar said.  “We are increasing our capacity to provide these companies about 6,000 cubic meters water a day,” he added.  Already, MRII has been providing water technology solutions to over 350 industrial firms around the country. It is the first company in Asia that introduced desalination, a process that involves converting seawater to potable water.   Sun.Star_6/2/06

UK prices to rise despite high water margins

No restrictions predicted for water customers

Britain's biggest listed water company, United Utlities, today raised the prospect of higher water bills despite a sharp rise in profits.  United, created in 1995 from the merger of North West Water and Norweb, reported pre-tax profits of £481m for the year to March 31, a 21% rise from the year before.  The company benefited from higher water and electricity bills last year and said there would be further price increases ahead, as agreed last year with regulators.  United raised bills at its main North West Water unit by 8.4% in April last year, and by 11.5% for customers of its electricity distribution division.  "With further real price increases ahead, our regulated businesses should continue to deliver strong profit growth," said Philip Green, the chief executive.

United also said increased investment in its water business meant there would be no need to limit how much water its customers used, despite problems elsewhere in the UK.  "Our reservoirs are over 90% full and we expect to maintain a healthy supply-demand balance, avoiding the need for water restrictions," Green said.  Guardian Unlimited_6/1/06

India: Pentair Water wins advertising case against Eureka Forbes

RO vs. UV technology at issue
Home water purifier company Eureka Forbes suffered a setback with a city court rejecting its plea to stop its rival US-based Pentair from advertising in the Indian media.  Market leader Eureka Forbes had filed a complaint against the Indian arm of the $ 3 billion Pentair Group, saying its advertisement propagated false information in an "unprincipled and unethical manner".  Eureka, which sells purifiers under the brand name Aqua guard with ultra violet technology, had objected to Pentair's advertisements, which highlighted that its reverse osmosis (RO) system-based purifier was better than the UV system.  Pentair had claimed that: "Water contains contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye and to UV water purifier" and added that its RO system removes contaminants much smaller in size.  Eureka, known in the domestic market for its UV-based purifiers, contended that its reputation was "irreparably damaged by such malicious campaign" adopted by Pentair.  However, the city court observed that Eureka Forbes did not place any figures regarding loss of sale or damage occurred due to the advertisement. Moreover, during the proceedings Eureka also accepted that RO technology is superior to UV technology.  Sify_6/1/06

May, 2006

General Electric invests $50 million in 'green' China, including water projects

GE, which employs 13,000 people in mainland China, said energy efficiency and water filtration were among the projects to be developed. GE's Chinese unit currently brings in revenues of $5 billion and the firm believes it could double its business by 2010. BBC News_ 5/29/06

World water giant Veolia enters China's energy market

With its water supply and waste management business in China soon expected to be worth a billion U.S. dollars a year, the world's largest environmental service provider, Veolia Environment, is taking steps into China's energy and transport market. Henri Proglio, Chairman and CEO of Veolia Environment, said in Beijing on Tuesday that China's increasing demand for energy-savings and transport management have lead his company to expand. Talking about Veolia's traditional water business in China, Proglio said his next target is to expand urban water services to China's large rural areas. Veolia has expanded its water supply and wastewater treatment business to 15 Chinese cities, Proglio said. Xinhoa_ 5/23/06

Aqua America Inc.'s CEO believes it can continue pace of 25 to 30 acquisitions a year

In addition to buying smaller, community-owned systems, Aqua America CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis said in an interview that he would be "emphatically" interested in merging with another publicly traded U.S. water utility, but noted that finding such a deal may be difficult. The acquisition strategy of the top U.S. water utility, DeBenedictis said, is to establish a beachhead in a region by making an acquisition of a larger system, like its $28 million purchase of New York Water Service Corp. announced earlier this week, followed by smaller deals around the region. DeBenedictis said that once the company completes its purchase of New York Water, Aqua America will probably look at around 1,000 water systems in New York for possible acquisitions. He also said the company was looking at establishing beachheads in the southern and midwestern U.S. states, but noted that no deals are imminent. Reuters_ 5/19/06

Watts Water Technologies Inc. buys ATS Expansion for about 60 million euros (US$76 million)

Watts makes water quality and conservation products. ATS makes a wide range of fittings, valves and flexible hoses for the French wholesale and do-it-yourself markets. Reuters_ 5/19/06

New York water service sells for $51 million

A Pennsylvania company that bills itself as the largest publicly traded water corporation in the country is taking a $51-million gulp on Long Island, NY. Aqua America Inc. will pay that much to buy New York Water Service Corp., which provides public water to about 135,000 residents in southeastern Nassau County.  "The acquisition expands our New York operation and provides the critical mass and economic base necessary to become one of the major water companies in New York," said Nick DeBenedictis, Aqua America's chairman.  New York Water is headed by Arthur Carter, who owns the New York Observer, a weekly newspaper in Manhattan.  The company dates to the late 1800s, when its operations stretched as far north as Rochester, Vincent A. Bohn, president, said. The company now consists of a service area ranging from Merrick, its operations headquarters, to Massapequa.  Newsday_5/17/06

Aqua America Inc. to buy New York Water Service Corp. for $28 million in cash

The deal with the parent company of New York Water Service, Utilities & Industries Corp. LLC, also includes the assumption of $23 million debt, the water utility said in a press release. New York Service provides public water to about 135,000 residents in southeastern Nassau County, Long Island, and certain communities of New York. Reuters_ 5/16/06

Connecticut Water Service Inc. in million-gallon pact

The investor-owned water utility said Monday that it agreed to buy up to 1 million gallons of water a day from the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Connecticut Water said that it would have cost much more to develop access and obtain the permits to tap an additional 1 million gallons of water per day for customers in Guilford. The agreement lasts for 50 years, and can be renewed in 20-year blocks thereafter. AP/Kiplinger Forecasts_ 5/15/06

Coca-Cola to buy venerable German mineral water brand Apollinaris

The purchase price was undisclosed. Coca-Cola Deutschland, the German arm of the US firm, said in a statement that Apollinaris, one of the best-known mineral water brands in Germany, would in future be controlled by the subsidiary Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetraenke AG. Apollinaris -- established in 1894 and dubbed the "queen of table waters" -- is based in Hamburg and employs a workforce of 470. The Apollinaris brand was previously owned by the company, Apollinaris und Schweppes GmbH, which is owned by the Orangina group. Orangina, in turn, belongs to private equity firms Lion Capital and Blackstone. The transaction, which will also include another water brand Heppinger, has still to be approved by German competition authorities, Coca-Cola said. AFP/Todayonline_ 5/12/06

April, 2006

Watts Water Technologies restructures debt

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. said on Thursday it entered into an amended credit agreement for a $350 million five-year, senior unsecured revolving credit facility. The facility may be increased to $500 million under certain circumstances, the North Andover, Massachusetts-based company said. Reuters_ 4/27/06

UK's Bristol Water agrees to Spanish takeover

Utilities firm Bristol Water Group has agreed to a £165m takeover bid from Spanish firm Aguas de Barcelona.  Shareholders in the West Country firm will receive £10.60 in cash for each share - a 42% premium on the average price over the past year and 12% more than yesterday's closing price of £9.65.  Bristol Water was founded in 1846 and now supplies drinking water to over 1 million customers in a 1,000 square mile area including parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.  Guardian Unliminted Business_4/21/06

Veolia to sell Southern Water stake - newspaper

French utility Veolia Environnement is to sell its 25 percent stake in Southern Water to Royal Bank of Scotland for up to 300 million pounds, the Financial Times said on Monday. No one at Veolia or the Royal Bank of Scotland could immediately be reached for comment. The bank already owns 40 percent of Southern Water, which supplies water to one million households in southern England. Reuters_ 4/10/06

U.S. cities oppose RWE's Amwrican Water IPO - group

German utility RWE is facing opposition from the U.S. city of Urbana in Illinois and other communities to its plan to float its American Water unit as a whole, rather than split it up and sell its local utilities to the cities they currently serve, a U.S. consumer rights group said on Friday. The Food & Water Watch group said in a statement that Urbana's Mayor Laurell Prussing would ask RWE at the firm's annual general meeting (AGM) to allow U.S. cities to buy their local water utilities. An RWE spokesman reiterated that the firm planned a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) for American Water as a whole. RWE has said it plans to float the firm in 2007. American Water's Web site said it serves more than 18 million customer in 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Reuters_ 4/7/06

Vancouver, Wash., extends Veolia Water wastewater partnership for five years

The city council in Vancouver, Wash., has unanimously approved a five-year contract extension with Veolia Water North America - West LLC to continue managing the city's 42.5 million-gallon-per-day secondary wastewater treatment facilities along with eight lift stations, administering the industrial pretreatment program and managing solids disposal. Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to approximately 15 million people in more than 600 communities.  Business Wire_4/6/06

March, 2006

Degussa sells water chemicals business
German specialty chemicals company Degussa AG Thursday said it's selling its Water Chemicals business to chemical and transportation construction company Ashland Inc. for a purchase price of EUR120 million, including net debt to be assumed.
The transaction, which is still subject to the customary approvals, should be concluded towards the end of May 2006.  Degussa's water chemicals activities comprise specialty chemicals primarily for use in separating liquids and solids when treating municipal and industrial waste water, in the paper, mining and petroleum industry, and for anti-scaling treatment in water-transporting systems. In fiscal 2005, more than 500 employees generated total sales of approximately EUR200 million.  Marketwatch_3/30/06

RWE plans IPO for American Water unit

German utility RWE plans a U.S. initial public offering for its American Water unit and wants the deal to take place in 2007, it said on Friday. German private bank Sal. Oppenheim said it valued American Water at 7.6 billion euros ($9.1 billion). RWE announced in November it would either sell or list American Water and Britain's Thames Water by 2007 to focus on electricity and gas as does bigger German rival E.ON. RWE bought Thames Water for 7.1 billion euros in 2000 and in 2003 paid 4.5 billion euros for American Water, which provides drinking water and wastewater services to more than 18 million people across North America. Reuters_ 3/24/06

Argentina severs Suez water deal

Argentina has terminated its contract with Aguas Argentinas, a company partly owned by French utility group Suez, to supply drinking water to Buenos Aires. The government said Aguas had failed to meet its contractual obligations and had reneged on its pledge to improve the quality of the water it supplied. A new group called Aysa, which is 90% owned by the state and 10% by workers, will take over the contract. The long-running saga has soured relations between France and Argentina. BBC News_ 3/21/06

U.S. Army reviewing bid from Honolulu Board of Water Supply to buy military water system on Oahu

The Army said Monday that it will make a decision sometime before September. The water board, a semi-autonomous agency that supplies drinking water to about 1 million consumers, made its final offer to the Army in November 2005. The agency has declined to say how much it's willing to pay for the system that carries water to military bases and facilities, including the Tripler Army Medical Center, Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks. Pacific Business News_ 3/13/06

Veolia boosted by new contracts

French firm Veolia, the world's largest water company, has seen its 2005 net profits rise by 59% due to new contracts and further expansion plans. The firm's lower than expected net profits rose to 623 million euros (£430) in 2005 from 392 million euros the year before. Veolia's chief executive Henri Proglio said the company was keen on expansion, but rejected the idea of a takeover. The statement followed Veolia's mooted bid for part of French utility company Suez. BBC News_ 3/13/06

Chinese plan to bid £8 billion (US$ 13.8 billion) for UK's Thames Water

Hong Kong's largest quoted infrastructure investor is drawing up an £8 billion bid for Thames Water, Britain’s biggest water company. Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI), which is majority-owned by Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based conglomerate, has held talks with investment banks and potential co-investors in the past week about an offer for Thames Water. CKI is understood to have held talks with Borealis, the Canadian pension fund, about joining forces on a bid for Thames, which is owned by the German utility group RWE. The move comes ahead of a likely auction of Thames by RWE and its adviser, Goldman Sachs. RWE has said it will pursue a sale or demerger of its water assets. Terra Firma, the buyout firm run by City financier Guy Hands, is among the British companies interested in Thames, though it is thought that a formal consortium will not be formed for several months. Macquarie, the Australian bank that owns South Eastern Water, is also viewed as a potential bidder. The Sunday Times_ 3/12/06

Canby, Ore., awards long-term partnership for water treatment services to Veolia Water

Access to global water experience and expertise was the key driver in the Canby, Ore., Utility Board's unanimous approval of a 10-year, $6.5 million water services contract to Veolia Water North America - West LLC.  The public-private partnership calls for Veolia Water to manage the utility's water treatment system that serves approximately 15,000 people. The water treatment system includes a 6 million-gallon-per-day treatment plant, storage tanks, intake, sludge lagoons and related facilities.  Chron.com_3/2/06

February, 2006

Consortium led by Australia's Macquarie Bank to buy U.S. water utility Aquarion for $US 860 million

The seller is Britain's Kelda Group. Aquarion distributes water in New England, in the US's north-east and is one of the 10 largest privately owned water utilities in the country, servicing about 677,000 people. A Macquarie Bank spokesman would not say if it were interested in any other water companies in the US. AAP/The Age_ 2/27/06

RWE CFO says IPO more likely for American Water

German utility RWE AG is more likely to have an initial public offering (IPO) for its American Water unit than sell it to financial investors, its chief financial officer said on Thursday. Klaus Sturany said at an analysts' conference that an IPO was "still the more likely case." RWE plans to make a decision in the first quarter of this year on how to proceed with American Water Works Company Inc. and also to decide on Thames Water Plc in the second quarter. RWE bought Thames Water for 7.1 billion euros ($8.5 billion) in 2000 and American Water -- a major provider of water services in North America -- for 4.5 billion in 2003. Analysts estimated late last year that the water businesses could have a combined enterprise value of 13 billion to 16 billion euros. Reuters_ 2/23/06

Bird Construction wins contract to build Canada water treatment plant
Bird Construction Co. Ltd. has won a $135 million contract to build a water treatment project in the oilsands region of Northern Alberta, Canada. The Toronto-based company announced late Wednesday it has been awarded a contract from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to build the Fort McMurray water reclamation plant.  The company said the project work will begin shortly and is scheduled for completion in early 2009.  CBC News_2/22/06

California Water Service names new CFO
California Water Service Group, holding company of utility California Water Service Co., said Wednesday that it named Martin A. Kropelnicki as its vice president, finance chief and treasurer, effective March 13. He will succeed John S. Tootle, who will resume responsibilities as in-house corporate counsel after filling the position on an interim basis since October 2005. Kropelnicki, 39, joins the company from California-based PowerLight Corp., a provider and installer of large-scale solar electric systems, where he was CFO.  MSN_2/22/06

Chinese water firm raising up to $33 million in IPO

A Chinese company that makes water-saving agricultural technology said on Monday it is raising up to US$33.4 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) that will be sold exclusively to institutional investors. Xinjiang Tianye Water Saving Irrigation System Co. Ltd. sells its products in China, where vast sections of the country are chronically short of water. After the IPO, the company will be 41 percent owned by Shanghai-listed Xinjiang Tianye Co. Ltd. Reuters_ 2/20/06

Basin Water Inc. files with SEC for $52 million IPO

The Rancho Cucamonga, California-based water treatment system maker has applied for a Nasdaq listing under the symbol "BWTR"  Reuters_ 2/13/06

China faces 'massive' environmental, water issues, Economy says

China faces massive environmental challenges, especially in providing clean water, that threaten its economic growth, said Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. China's gross domestic product has grown sixfold from 1984 to 2004, and the world's most populous nation has had the fastest- growing economy in Asia for the past 20 years, according to the World Bank. Economic growth was 9.5 percent in the first half of 2005 and is projected at 8 percent this year. Three hundred million people, out of a population of 1.3 billion people, are drinking contaminated water every day, and 190 million people drink water that makes them physically ill, Economy said. Bloomberg_ 2/7/06

Israeli venture capital will raise $300 million for water technologies

Sources inform ''Globes'' that a few months ago, six venture capital funds began to raise over $300 million to be channeled for water solutions. One of these funds is veteran Millennium Material Technologies Fund, which will raise $100 million, of which 20-25% will be channeled to water solutionThe other venture capital funds are new. Italian-Israeli Terra Venture Partners has $10 million in pledges. The fund predicts it will raise $50 million by year-end. The other funds will raise $60-70 million each. There is now a major drive designed to “turn Israel into a water solutions powerhouse,” as Mekorot National Water Company chairman Baruch (Booky) Oren told “Globes”. In addition to venture capital, another source for this drive is a five-year plan submitted to the cabinet for investing NIS 750 million in the lake planning, designed to position Israel as the global water industry leader. Globes_ 2/6/06

Mueller Water Products files for $400 million IPO

Mueller Water Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Walter Industries Inc., filed with regulators on Friday to raise up to $400 million in an initial public offering of Series A common stock. The Tampa, Florida-based manufacturer of a broad range of water infrastructure and flow control products, said in an initial filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Banc of America Securities, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers are underwriting the offering. Reuters_ 2/3/06

January, 2006

International Power, Suez, Sumitomo buy water, power project in Bahrain

International Power PLC, together with partners Suez Energy International of France and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, confirmed they purchased the Al Hidd independent power and water project in Bahrain, and signed a 20-year Power and Water Purchase Agreement (PWPA) with the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) for its output. The companies will expand the water desalination operation and the power and water output will be sold to the government under a 20-year contract. The total project cost is estimated to be $1.25 billion. AFX/Forbes_ 1/23/06

Degussa sees sale of its water treatment chemicals unit this quarter - spokeswoman

Previously the German specialty chemicals group had said it expected to sign a deal by the end of 2005. The spokeswoman said no deal had been signed yet but gave no reason for the delay. The water chemicals unit had sales of 166 million euros ($200 million) in 2004. Media reports have named private equity group Advent as a likely buyer of the water treatment business. Reuters_ 1/19/06

Kinder Morgan to sell its Terasen water unit

Oil and gas distributor Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Inc. on Tuesday said subsidiary Terasen Inc. has agreed to sell its water and utility services business to a consortium of buyers for $125 million Canadian ($107.8 million). Terasen's water, wastewater and utility unit primarily serves western Canada. AP/MSN.com_ 1/17/06

London investor Guy Hands to bid £8 billion ($14 billion) for Thames Water

It would be Britain’s biggest-ever private-equity deal. Hands, through his privately owned vehicle, Terra Firma Capital Partners, is putting together a consortium of investors that is expected to include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the private-equity group, and infrastructure funds including Macquarie and Babcock & Brown. Thames has been earmarked for disposal by RWE, the German utility group. RWE, which paid £4.8 billion for the utility in 2000, is also considering a float of its water assets, which include American Water Works. Thames is Britain’s biggest water company, with 8 million customers, and the third-largest in the world. It employs more than 12,000 people in 46 countries. Last week reports suggested that Spanish construction and infrastructure groups such as FCC, Ferrovial and Acciona were also looking at Thames. Sunday Times_ 1/15/06

Water utilities target 'inefficient' plumbing products
Members of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute had water conservation of their minds — and on their agenda — during their fall meeting. About a dozen speakers, panelists and guests attended portions of the meeting devoted to the issue.  "One of my highest priorities is to work with local utilities to encourage water conservation (on a voluntary basis)," said Ben Grumbles, assistant administrator for the office of water in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "We are looking at increasing incentives for industries and facilities to save water. Water conservation is not just a Western (states) issue anymore. It has become an issue in other regions as well."  Representatives from utilities and public interest groups in California and Washington state advocated water conservation to PMI members. David Broustis, conservation program manager for Seattle Public Utilities outlined some of his concerns about specific plumbing products, which he labeled as plumbing "code cheating": multihead showerheads and shower systems; code-compliant toilets that flush more than 1.6 gal. per flush with universal flapper replacement; replacement flappers that maximize water use; and showerheads with easily removable flow controllers.

Rather than seeking regulations, Broustis said that utilities prefer a voluntary market transformation working in cooperation with the plumbing industry.  Contractor Magazine_1/12/06

MWH Soft Introduces Pipe Cleaning and Maintenance Program for Water Distribution Systems

Unidirectional Flushing Program Gives Water Utilities More Power to Improve Hydraulic and Water Quality Performance
MWH Soft, a provider of environmental and water resources applications software, announced the final phase of development of InfoWater UDF, a geocentric solution for unidirectional flushing of drinking water distribution systems.  The product is used to manage the systematic flushing of water distribution systems to remove stagnant water along with mineral and sediment deposits that have accumulated over time - restoring hydraulic capacity.  WebWire_1/11/06

Spain's FCC wins 1.5 billion euros ($1.81 billion) Italian water treatment contract

Via its unit Aqualia, FCC, a building and services company, will manage water treatment services in the Italian province of Caltanissetta for 30 years, it said. Reuters_ 1/10/06

Severn Trent Services to provide arsenic removal technology for Nogales, Arizona

The SORB 33® arsenic removal technology and Bayoxide® E33 arsenic removal media from Severn Trent Services have been selected for use by the City of Nogales (Ariz.) Public Works Department in order to meet the new EPA arsenic standard for drinking water of 10 parts per billion at three water treatment facilities. Total arsenic in well locations for these three facilities has measured between 17 and 29 parts per billion (ppb). The arsenic removal systems will be installed during the first quarter of 2006. The engineering consultant on the project is Westland Resources of Tucson, Ariz. Press Release_ 1/10/06

Severn Trent Services nears completion of $2 million contract to provide water treatment equipment and services to two Britvic Soft Drinks plants in England

The Washington, Pennsylvania firm is scheduled to complete work at the Beckton, England, site this month and at the Widford plant in March. The contracted work will enable Britvic Soft Drinks to continue to meet the water quality standards of PepsiCo. Britvic is the U.K. bottling and distribution franchise for PepsiCo's Pepsi and 7up beverages. Press Release_ 1/5/06

ISE To Launch New Water Index

The International Securities Exchange (NYSE:ISE) announced today that it is launching the ISE-B&S Water Index, a new sector index option and benchmark for this emerging industry which was developed with Boenning & Scattergood (B&S), one of the oldest, independently operated securities firms headquartered in the Mid-Atlantic region.   The ISE-B&S Water Index was developed in response to growing interest in water as a scarce resource and comprises companies in the water infrastructure, filtration, distribution, purification and treatment industries. The index currently contains 20 stocks that trade in the U.S. market, including such notable domestic industry participants as Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR), Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WTS), as well as international companies that trade as Depositary Receipts, such as Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (NYSE: SBS). The index is the basis for cash-settled index options, which will list and begin trading today on ISE under the symbol HHO.  Press Release_ BusinessWire 1/5/06

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