- From: Vol 4, Issue 12 (December 2003)
- Category: Need to know
- Region: Unspecified
- Country: Germany and United States
- Related Companies: AS Tallinna Vesi, Ecolochem, Everpure, International Water (IWL), Ionics, ITT Industries, Pentair, Przedsiebiorstwo Komunalne Aqua, Sofijska Voda AD, United Utilities, US Filter and Wedeco
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ITT Industries continued to build its position in the water sector with the 3 million acquisition of Wedeco, a German manufacturer of ozone oxidation and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment.
Wedeco will become part of ITT’s fluid technology group which has 11,000 employees, 32 production facilities around the world and a claim to market leadership of the water treatment systems sector. Wedeco is said to be the market leader in its niche. Some observers suggest that the deal shows growing interest in the water sector among diversified industrial groups, and may give an indication of the outcome of the US Filter sale currently in progress.
The first sale in the US Filter divestment was also announced this month. Everpure, the domestic and commercial water filters company with special strength in the food service sector, was sold to Pentair for 5 million. Pentair has other water interests including pumps, control valves and pool products, but it can still be categorised as a diversified industrial. It also makes tools and enclosures. Total sales are .6 billion.
The specialist water companies are not being left out of the acquisitions market. The biggest deal of the month was the sale of Ecolochem to Ionics for 8m. Ecolochem produces mobile water treatment facilities for use in emergencies and at remote sites. It is a big deal for Ionics, which has a market capitalisation of 5 million at the time of going to press, but the markets liked it. The share price has recovered most of the ground it lost in 2002 and the first half of 2003.
International Water (IWL) confirmed what many industry observers had known for some time when it announced the sale of its interests in Sofijska Voda (Sofia), Tallinna Vesi (Tallinn) and Przedsiebiorstwo Komunalne Aqua (Bielsko-Biala) to a joint venture of United Utilities and the EBRD. This follows IWL’s decision to sell its stake in Manila Water Company earlier this year (see GWI, Vol. 4, Issue 9, pp16-17). The disposals leave IWL with four remaining projects: Guayaquil in Ecuador and stakes in three Scottish PFI deals through Catchment Highland Ltd (Moray Coast, Highland and Tay).