BRYN MAWR, Pa., July 8, 2002 -- Philadelphia Suburban Corp. and Vivendi Environnement on Monday announced they have reached an agreement to effect a public offering as part of a plan to complete VE's divestiture of PSC stock.
PSC Chairman Nicholas DeBenedictis said, "I am pleased that we were able to reach a mutually acceptable plan to deal with VE's divestiture of our stock in a way that we believe to be in the interest of all our shareholders."
US Filter President and CEO Andrew Seidel, speaking on behalf of VE, said, VE's divestiture has nothing to do with PSC's utility operations.
"VE has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with PSC. VE has been an investor in PSC since the 1970s and we have been a business partner of PSC since 1995, including our cooperation with respect to the recently awarded waterworks operating contract for the City of Indianapolis. VE's decision to sell its investment in PSC does not reflect any concern on our part with PSC's business plan, the management team or the financial strength of the company. To the contrary, in our view PSC is the best-managed regulated water utility in the U.S."
Seidel added, "While we admire and appreciate the manner in which PSC has historically executed its regulated utility strategy, VE's business model in the U.S. is based on leveraging our technology to establish long-term public-private partnerships with municipalities. VE has made it very clear over the last two years that it would divest assets that did not fulfill its strategic mission, and redeploy the proceeds into our core business operations. The sale of our PSC investment is simply one more step in furtherance of that well-defined strategy."
Seidel continued, "We have worked together with PSC management to formulate a divestment strategy that will facilitate our objectives and at the same time maintain an orderly market for PSC shares, which we believe will benefit PSC shareholders. Even after this offering is completed, however, we look forward to continuing our successful relationship of strategically partnering with PSC on future public-private partnerships."
VE--which has not purchased PSC stock for nearly two years and has never provided any direct financial support to PSC--currently owns approximately 11.1 million shares of PSC stock, approximately 16 percent of PSC's outstanding shares.
PSC is one of the nation's largest investor-owned water utilities serving nearly two million residents collectively through its operating subsidiaries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Maine and North Carolina.
PSC is a publicly-traded company listed on both the New York and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol "PSC" and has been committed to the preservation of the environment throughout its history, which spans more than 100 years.