Aquarion Shareholders Approve Merger Agreement

 

Updated 2:52 PM ET September 21, 1999

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (BUSINESS WIRE) - Aquarion Company Shareholders today approved the proposed merger of the company with the Kelda Group plc (formerly Yorkshire Water plc) of Leeds, England.

During a special meeting, shareholders voted 6,916,627 million shares, or 61 percent of the outstanding shares, in favor of the merger. Richard K. Schmidt, Aquarion President and Chief Executive Officer, noted that 92 percent of the shares voting, voted in favor of the proposal.

"We are very excited about this transaction for a number of reasons," Schmidt said. "Shareholders will receive a substantial premium for their shares of Aquarion stock; our customers will benefit from a larger, international organization that can bring the technical, managerial, and financial resources to the forefront to improve water quality and service; and employees will have more career opportunities with a company that operates water and wastewater treatment facilities internationally," he said.

Directors of Kelda and Aquarion on June 1 announced they had approved an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Aquarion for $37.05 per share. As a result, Aquarion will be merged with a subsidiary of Kelda. After the merger, Aquarion will maintain its corporate identity.

The transaction is still subject to approval by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) and the New York Public Serve Commission (NYPSC). While the Connecticut DPUC has scheduled a final decision on Dec. 1, 1999, the NYPSC has not yet issued a schedule. The companies expect early 2000 regulatory approvals of the mergers.

Aquarion Company's principal business is public water supply. Through its BHC and Sea Cliff Water company subsidiaries, it is one of the 10 largest investor-owned water utilities in the U.S. and serves 141,000 customers, or a population of more than 500,000, in 30 Connecticut and Long Island, N.Y. communities. Other businesses include real estate through the sale of surplus water company land, and contract management of municipal water systems. Aquarion also owns a timber processing company.

Note to Reporters and Editors: For more information on Aquarion Company and its subsidiaries, please contact us on the Internet at www.aquarion.com or www.bhcco.com.

Contact: Aquarion Company, Bridgeport Larry L. Bingaman, 203/336-7626