U.S. Water News Online
FRANKFURT, Germany -- German utility conglomerate RWE AG
has said it will sell its U.S. and British-based water operations to
sharpen its focus on European gas and electricity markets.
The company said it hopes to complete the sale of RWE Thames Water
in Britain and American Water Works Co. by 2007.
The company said in a statement it plans to sell off Vorhees,
N.J.-based American Water first, either through an initial public
offering or selling it to financial investors. Once that has started,
it will start searching for buyers for Reading-based RWE Thames
Water, the world's third-biggest provider of water and wastewater
American Water operates utilities in 20 states, including West
Virginia. West Virginia-American Water is the state's largest water
utility, serving about 25 percent of the state's 1.8 million
Any deal will require approval from RWE's supervisory board as
well as regulators.
"The transactions will lead to greater transparency of the value
of our water business. Both American Water and RWE Thames Water are
market leaders in their respective regions," said Chief Executive
Harry Reols. "As stand-alone entities, they are well positioned to
continue on their stable growth paths going forward and maintain the
breadth and quality of their service."
Combined, they accounted for 4.1 billion euros, or 9.6 percent, of
RWE's overall 2004 sales of 46.8 billion euros ($55.9 billion).
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