Aqua America buys former Florida Water facilities
poised to buy more

Apr 23, 2004 

Aqua America, Inc., announced today that its Florida subsidiary has reached an agreement with Florida Water Services Corporation, a subsidiary of ALLETE, Inc.  to acquire 63 water and wastewater systems for $13.82 million. The acquisition will be accretive to earnings. 

Collectively, the systems being purchased serve approximately 40,000 residents concentrated primarily in the central part of the state. The acquisition will expand Aqua America's customer base, currently concentrated in the Sarasota area, to more than 100,000 residents. In accordance with Florida procedures, regulatory approval from the Florida Public Service Commission will be sought following closing, which is scheduled for June 30, 2004. The Commission's review process may result in an adjustment of the final purchase price based on the Commission's determination of plant investment for the system. 

In addition to this agreement, the companies entered a second agreement that would allow Aqua America's Florida subsidiary to acquire an additional nine water and wastewater systems for $4.18 million subject to the outcome of a previously negotiated right of first refusal with a nearby municipality. 

"We're excited that we have already begun to expand Aqua America's customer base in Florida since beginning our operations last August," said Aqua America Chairman Nicholas DeBenedictis. "We are anxious to continue growing our already-substantial customer base in this fast-growing state. This acquisition provides us with opportunities to spread our operational and financial expertise to a larger customer base, thus providing opportunities for operating efficiencies. We look forward to working cooperatively with the Florida Public Service Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the local municipalities we will serve to provide quality water service to customers at reasonable rates." 

Aqua America is the largest U.S.-based publicly-traded water utility listed on both the New York and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol WTR. 

SOURCE: Aqua America, Inc.