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Acquisition of Nassau water service complete

The acquisition of Aqua New York Inc. by

The acquisition of Aqua New York Inc. by American Water Works Co. is now complete -- nearly doubling American Water's customer base in New York and making it the largest investor-owned water utility in the state. Credit: Fotolia

The acquisition of Aqua New York Inc. by American Water Works Co. is now complete -- nearly doubling American Water's customer base in New York and making it the largest investor-owned water utility in the state.

Under the purchase agreement announced yesterday, American Water of Voorhees, N.J., will pay Aqua America Inc. $39 million for its seven regulated water systems -- located in Nassau, Washington, Westchester and Ulster counties -- and assume $23 million in debt. In a separate transaction, American Water will sell its subsidiary, Ohio American Water Co., to Aqua Ohio Inc. for $101 million and $11 million in assumed debt, according to the water companies' news releases.

American Water now will serve about 375,000 people in the state, including parts of Hempstead and Oyster Bay towns, said Bill Varley, president of two American Water subsidiaries.

The completion of the transactions depended partly upon regulatory approval by the New York State Public Service Commission, which approved the deal on April 19. Water rates for Long Island customers will be frozen until April 1, 2015. The rate would increase only if the commission approves a future American Water request, Varley said.

The purchase was completed despite interest by the Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County in taking over Aqua. The authority is reviewing two bids to conduct a feasibility study weighing the costs and benefits of taking over Aqua. The authority has the power to take over Aqua's service area on Long Island even after American Water's purchase of Aqua, officials said.

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