20:09 | 16.01.2020
Aqua America Announces New Name and Executive Leadership Team Ahead of Peoples Closing
Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) announced today its new company name, Essential Utilities, Inc. (“Essential”) that will take effect on Monday, Feb. 3. In addition, the company is also announcing the members of the executive leadership team that will report to Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. The announcement comes after the Peoples acquisition received regulatory approval at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s January 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 uniquely positioned to have a powerful impact on improving infrastructure reliability, quality of life and economic prosperity in the areas it serves.
Effective at the close of the transaction, Peoples will become a subsidiary of Essential, with the company tagline “Providing natural resources for life.” Essential’s common stock will begin trading under the NYSE ticker symbol (WTRG) on Feb. 3.
Essential will provide a unique combination of experienced regulated utility companies that offers essential services to customers and a unique investment opportunity for shareholders.
“The team has gone through an extensive exercise to explore our purpose and promise for our customers and communities, employees and shareholders, and Essential captured the essence of what we aim to be for our stakeholders,” Franklin said. “Water and natural gas are vital services that play an important role in sustaining and enhancing life. As stewards of these services, we have a responsibility to protect the public and our employees through operational excellence and integrity in all we do.”
The Company and Peoples are committed to continuing to provide exceptional service to their customers. The companies’ existing websites will still serve customers’ information and transactional needs. There are no immediate plans to rebrand these operating companies. The Company’s headquarters will remain in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 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.
More information will be available at www.essential.co. The new website will be live on Feb. 3.
Richard Fox, executive vice president, chief operating officer
Christopher Luning, executive vice president, general counsel
Matthew Rhodes, executive vice president, strategy and corporate development
Daniel Schuller, executive vice president, chief financial officer
Ruth DeLost-Wylie, senior vice president, business transformation
Susan Haindl, senior vice president, chief administrative officer
Christina Kelly, senior vice president, chief human resources officer
Brian Dingerdissen, vice president, chief of staff, investor relations and communications
Kimberly Joyce, vice president, regulatory and government affairs
“These individuals are proven leaders in their areas of expertise, staunchly committed to the success of our company’s mission. The team has my full confidence and includes those who I most trust and rely on to deliver exceptional customer and employee experience and shareholder value,” Franklin said.
In addition, Joseph Gregorini, currently Peoples chief operating officer, will lead the natural gas utilities for all states as president and Colleen Arnold, currently Aqua’s deputy chief operating officer, will lead the water and wastewater utilities for all states as president.
Both operating company presidents will report to Fox, who noted, “Joe and Colleen are experienced leaders and utility professionals. They are well-prepared for these new assignments and we’re fortunate to have such strong and experienced executives to guide our utilities into this exciting phase of our combined companies’ history.”
DeLost-Wylie, currently SVP, chief administrative officer and chief information officer at Peoples, will lead the implementation of enterprise application SAP across the entire corporate platform as SVP of business transformation.
According to Franklin, “Ruth has already led the successful implementation of SAP across the Peoples platform and I am confident that she has the leadership and technical skills to lead us through the transformative, company-wide project. She has our full confidence.”
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