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Eversource Eyes Acquisition Of Connecticut Water

A convoy of Eversource trucks responding to a hurricane disaster. Photo Credit: Eversource
A map of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire shows the service territory for Eversource, Aquarion and where they overlap. Photo Credit: Eversource

Eversource Energy announced on Thursday, April 19 that it made a proposal to acquire all outstanding shares of Connecticut Water Service, Inc.

The proposal, made on April 5, would have allowed Eversource to acquire all the outstanding shares for $63.50 per share in cash, according to a news statement.

With this proposal, Connecticut Water Service shareholders can take the payment or receive the equivalent shares in Eversource.

Connecticut Water said it remains committed to an earlier offer made by SJW Group, calling it a merger of equals that will offer better opportunity for growth and return to shareholders, according to multiple news reports.

Nonetheless, Eversource called its proposal "a superior alternative" to the all-stock transaction proposed in SJW Group’s agreement announced on March 15 to acquire Connecticut Water.

Eversource’s proposal represents a 21 percent premium to Connecticut Water’s closing share price on March 14, the day prior to the SJW announcement.

“We believe that our proposal represents a unique opportunity to deliver significant and immediate value to Connecticut Water’s shareholders, customers, employees, and local communities,” said Jim Judge, Eversource's chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As such, we were surprised and disappointed that Connecticut Water’s Board of Directors has been unwilling to engage in discussions with us. We urge the Board of Connecticut Water to act in the best interests of its shareholders by meeting with us to seriously discuss our compelling proposal.”

Connecticut Water serves about 125,000 customers in Connecticut and Maine with about 85 percent of them located in Connecticut.

Eversource is the parent company of Aquarion Water Company, a Connecticut-based water utility whose service territory is in close proximity to Connecticut Water’s service territory. Aquarion Water serves Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with about 90 percent of its 230,000 customers located in Connecticut.

Last year, Eversource said, Connecticut Water expressed interest in the possibility of Eversource acquiring the remaining shares of the company. On Tuesday, Eversource sent a second letter to Connecticut Water Service reiterating its continued interest.

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