Essential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG), earlier this summer, announced its subsidiary, Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., had signed an exclusivity agreement with the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) to continue discussions for a potential acquisition. Yesterday those discussions were halted in light of statements by the Bucks County commissioners and BCWSA board chairman.

“While we were surprised and disappointed by the sudden turn of events yesterday, we respect the opinions of the Bucks County elected officials and have offered to remain a resource to them. The professionalism of the staff at the BCWSA was exemplary and we hope to continue those collegial relationships as we work together to solve the water and sewer challenges in our region,” said Essential Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin.

Franklin continued, “We continue to have a strong pipeline of opportunities and continue to find elected officials interested in potential partnerships across our multi-state footprint. In light of some of the tragic events associated with long-term deferred maintenance in government owned systems across the country, we remain committed to providing viable solutions to water and sewer utilities.”

Essential’s Aqua companies has completed two acquisitions in 2022. The company currently has seven additional signed purchase agreements to acquire water and wastewater systems in three of its existing states, which have a total purchase price of approximately $364.5 million and represent more than 217,000 equivalent retail customers or equivalent dwelling units.

Aqua Pennsylvania serves approximately 1.5 million people in 32 counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.