• Water utility company to buy Peoples Natural Gas

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    One of the biggest utilities in western Pennsylvania will soon have a new owner.

    Tuesday morning, Aqua America announced its $4.27 billion acquisition of Peoples Natural Gas.

    If approved by regulators, the combined company would serve one million water customers and 740,000 natural gas customers.

    "I was very, very surprised this morning,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. 

    Peduto told Channel 11 he'd never even heard of Aqua America before the announcement this morning, adding the company has had no contact with the city and Peoples never mentioned the acquisition to his administration.

    Over the last several months, Peoples Gas had publicly expressed interest in running the city's water system after concerns were raised about the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's management.


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    "Whether or not they will be a company that will potentially bid on work is yet to be seen. We intend to go through the same process that we've stated from the beginning,” Peduto said.

    A spokesman for Peoples said the company would not comment on the purchase 

    In its news release announcing the move, Aqua America’s CEO said in part:

    "The acquisition of Peoples is a great strategic fit and aligns directly with our growth strategy and core competencies of building and rehabilitating infrastructure, regulatory recovery, and operational excellence."

    Channel 11 also reached out to Aqua America for an interview about the purchase of Peoples Natural Gas, but that message has not been returned. 

    In its news release, Aqua America said it doesn't expect the acquisition to impact rates.
     


     

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