|Everource'Judge, wants Connecticut Water. Asking stockholders to weigh in.||California Water's Kropelnicki say's his deal is better for San Jose Water, than the Connecticut Water Purchase|
SAN JOSE: HARTFORD: Connecticut’s cross country water war over the acquisition of Connecticut Water Services [Nasdaq:CWS] by the San Jose Group [Nasdaq: SJW] has taken on two new but expected battlefronts.
Would be acquirers Eversource [NYSE:EV] and and California Water Service Group [Nasdaq: CWT] respectively have both made preliminary filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] indicating potential proxy fights.
Eversource made an offer on April 17, to purchase the CWS just as it had agreed to a takeover by the SJW.
Eversource’s filing said it wants “to urge Connecticut Water Service, Inc.'s (“Connecticut Water”) (CTWS) shareholders to vote “AGAINST” the SJW Group merger proposal, “AGAINST” the compensation proposal, and “AGAINST” the adjournment proposal.”
“We believe that our proposal to acquire Connecticut Water is a compelling offer that is in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders, employees, customers and local communities,” said Eversource Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Judge. “We are disappointed that Connecticut Water’s Board of Directors has been unwilling to engage in constructive discussions we urge Connecticut Water shareholders to oppose all proposals related to the SJW Group transaction in order to maximize the value of their shares and to insist that the members of the Connecticut Water Board meet with Eversource to seriously discuss Eversource’s superior proposal in accordance with their fiduciary duties.”
The Blackstone Group and Vanguard investment companies through a variety of investment funds are the most significant investors in all four companies ownning between 25 and 30% of all four companies. Several other institutional investors are owners of all four companies as well
On the West Coast things are going pretty much the same as here, with a challenge to the deal and acqusiiton.
“We strongly believe our $68.25 per share all-cash proposal delivers superior value to SJW stockholders and is in the best interest of both companies’ stockholders,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, President and CEO of California Water. “In our view, SJW’s stock merger with Connecticut Water forces SJW stockholders to forego substantial and immediate value for the promise of long-term accretion that may never materialize, due to the significant risk of operating a larger company with two separate systems that are 3,000 miles apart in different regulatory environments.”
Their release said,” absent engagement by the SJW Board, California Water will ensure that SJW stockholders have all of the facts and resources necessary to determine the best path forward for SJW.