Aqua America Inc., which is headquartered in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, will take a new company name, Essential Utilities Inc., as of Monday, Feb. 3. The announcement comes after the Peoples acquisition received regulatory approval at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Jan. 16 meeting.
In October 2018, Aqua announced it would acquire Peoples, a Pittsburgh-based natural gas distribution company, in an all-cash transaction that reflects an enterprise value of $4.275 billion. The acquisition marks the creation of a new infrastructure company positioned to improve infrastructure reliability, quality of life and economic prosperity in the areas it serves.
At the close of the transaction, Peoples will become a subsidiary of Essential, and Essential’s common stock will begin trading under the NYSE ticker symbol (WTRG) on Feb. 3.
There are no immediate plans to rebrand the Aqua and Peoples operating companies. The companies’ existing websites will still serve customers’ information and transactional needs. Aqua’s headquarters will remain in Bryn Mawr, and Peoples will remain in Pittsburgh.
There will be no need for the company’s shareholders to exchange stock certificates in connection with the corporate name change.
Aqua also announced the members of the executive leadership team that will report to Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. Joseph Gregorini, currently Peoples COO, will lead the natural gas utilities for all states as president, and Colleen Arnold, currently Aqua’s deputy COO, will lead the water and wastewater utilities for all states as president.
Aqua America is the second-largest publicly traded water utility based in the U.S. and serves over 3 million people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia.
Peoples is a natural gas provider serving approximately 740,000 homes and businesses in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.