American Water to sell its N.Y. operations for $608M to Liberty Utilities

Camden-based American Water Works Company Inc. announced Thursday it has agreed to sell its regulated New York operations to Liberty Utilities, a utility business of parent company Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., for an anticipated $608 million.

File photo
Susan Story of American Water.

“This was a very difficult decision for American Water, as we have had the privilege of serving customers and communities in New York for more than 130 years,” Susan Story, CEO and president of American Water, said. “After a careful and comprehensive analysis, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers in New York to sell to Liberty Utilities, which already has water utility operations and will have a larger presence in New York once the transaction closes. We are committed to working together to ensure that the transition is unnoticeable to our customers and that safe and reliable water service continues throughout the transition and beyond.”

Under the deal, Liberty will work closely with New York American Water and the New York Public Service Commission to ensure there’s no difficulty with the changeover.

No jobs will be lost as a result of the agreement, Story said, with Liberty committing to maintain existing employment terms for two years, including salaries and benefits, after the close.

“We are excited to expand our customer base in the great state of New York, and to bring our experience in multiple states as a water utility operator committed to excellence,” Ian Robertson, CEO of Algonquin, said. “We also look forward to welcoming New York American Water’s employees to our Liberty Utilities team.”

Liberty Utilities currently has more than 800,000 customers throughout 14 states. The deal, which is expected to close in the later half of 2020, should not impact water rates.

Wells Fargo Securities will serve as the financial adviser and Holland & Knight LLP will serve as legal adviser to American Water.