SUEZ's United Water acquires U.S. Water

Ondeo, the water division of SUEZ (NYSE:SZE), announced that it has acquired U.S. Water LLC, which is owned jointly by Bechtel Enterprises Holdings, Inc. of the United States and United Utilities Plc. of Great Britain, for US$40 million. Suez plans to merge U.S. Water into its subsidiary, United Water.

“In addition to the recent contract wins in Puerto Rico and Halifax, Canada, and Mexico this acquisition further reinforces United's leadership in the North American water services market,” said Jacques Pétry, Chairman and CEO of SUEZ's water division. “We fully expect that U.S. Water’s integration into United Water will expand our presence in several key growth areas, strengthen our position in the eastern United States and increase our overall U.S. market share.”

U.S. Water currently operates 40 contracts, supplying a total of 1 million people with water and wastewater services. The total annual revenues for U.S. Water’s water and wastewater operations were USD$30 million in 2001. It primarily deals with small to medium-sized municipal projects and complements United Water’s leading position in the market with large municipal projects.

U.S. Water’s water and wastewater contracts operations are primarily based in the northeastern region of the United States. The largest contract, worth US$8.5 million in annual revenue, is for wastewater services in Springfield, MA, and its second largest contract, worth approximately US$7.3 million, is for water services in Camden, NJ.

“In North America, the market for water and wastewater services has been growing steadily since 1997 as municipalities seek solutions for their water-related needs,” said Pétry. “Through this acquisition and its recent contract wins, Ondeo is extremely well positioned to take advantage of this market's growth.”

In 2001, the water division of SUEZ, generated 2.1 billion euros in revenues in North America, in the municipal water and wastewater market through its subsidiary United Water, in the design and construction of water treatment facilities with Ondeo Degrémont, and services to industrial customers with Ondeo Nalco. This represents a 10% growth compared with 2000.