WaterBriefs: Apax Partners to acquire majority interest in Contech Construction Products

Also in this report: Aqua America invests $4.2M for N.J. water system; $6.3M cleanup of Newton Creek, Hog Island Inlet complete; Public invited to Salton Sea ecosystem restoration meetings; Biosensor detects toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water; Army Corps of Engineers deploys Hummingbird Enterprise for ESRI; UK engineers provide water access to Ghana villagers; Ovation reports successful testing of water technology; Global Beverage Solutions to acquire controlling interest in Rudy Beverage...

In other news below:
-- Aqua America unit invests $4.2M to acquire N.J. water system
-- $6.3 million cleanup of Newton Creek, Hog Island Inlet now complete
-- Public invited to DWR Salton Sea ecosystem restoration program meetings
-- Biophage's PDS Biosensor detects toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water
-- Army Corps of Engineers deploys Hummingbird Enterprise for ESRI
-- Six UK engineers transform lives of Ghanian villagers with access to clean water
-- Wessex Water tests strategic environmental assessment
-- Ovation reports successful testing of water purification technology
-- Irvine Ranch Land Reserve stewardship program wins top environmental award
-- Aqua Society develops new heat pump
-- Global Beverage Solutions to acquire controlling interest in Rudy Beverage
-- Royal Spring Water to distribute in Puerto Rico, Caribbean islands and Latin America
-- ICC, IAPMO set February as critical meet date
-- Southwest Water names Walter J. Bench as treasurer
-- Maragos joins Black & Veatch as part of enterprise management division

Apax Partners to acquire majority interest in Contech Construction Products -- Recapitalization valued in excess of $1 billion -- WEST CHESTER, OH, & NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Contech Construction Products Inc., a leading civil engineering site solutions products and services company, and Apax Partners, L.P., one of the world's leading private equity investment groups, today announced that funds advised by Apax Partners will acquire a majority ownership interest in Contech. The transaction, which is expected to close in January 2006, has a total enterprise valuation of in excess of $1 billion. Members of Contech management will invest in the recapitalized company, giving them a significant minority ownership interest.

Ohio-based Contech is a recognized industry leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of specialty construction products sold to the civil engineering infrastructure sector of the heavy construction industry. The company's sales are diversified across end markets including highway, residential construction, commercial construction, and other industrial applications. Contech has been owned by Butler Capital Corporation and management since 1997.

Patrick Harlow, Chairman and chief executive officer of Contech Construction Products Inc., said, "The Contech management team selected Apax Partners as our partner because they share our vision for Contech's future growth. Apax Partners brings strong financial resources and well-established international presence that will help Contech develop into a multi-billion dollar global leader in construction products.

Contech's attractive growth has been driven by high-growth construction markets such as environmental stormwater management, engineered spans, and earth stabilization and erosion control. Contech's national sales and marketing organization of more than 450 people and the quality and breadth of services they provide has been a key factor in the company's success.

Harlow and the rest of the Contech executive management team will continue to serve in their current capacities upon completion of the transaction.

Apax Partners, L.P. co-CEO, John Megrue commented, "This is an important transaction for Apax Partners, as it further strengthens our focus on relationship investing in an industry sector where we have deep experience."

David Kim, partner, Apax Partners, added, " Contech is an outstanding company that, under the leadership of Pat Harlow and a very talented management team, has achieved exceptional results in sales and profitability through both acquisitions and organic growth. I've known Pat for a long time, and I have an incredible level of respect and admiration for him. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Pat and his team."

Wachovia Securities is providing advisory services to Apax Partners as well as leading the senior financing for the transaction. Goldman Sachs Mezzanine Partners will be leading the mezzanine financing for the transaction. Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal counsel to both Apax Partners and Contech.

Contech (www.contech-cpi.com) is an industry leader in the emerging and expanding stormwater and bridge structure markets. Through its cutting edge offerings in stormwater by subsidiary Stormwater360, and an unmatched bridge offering through subsidiaries Continental, CON/SPAN, Steadfast, BridgeTek and BEBO, Contech is poised to be the unmatched site solutions authority for the next decade. West Chester, Ohio-based Contech is also the only nationwide provider of stormwater management and treatment systems, bridge structures, earth stabilization and erosion control solutions and corrugated metal and plastic pipe. Its product portfolio is based on more than a century of research and practical field experience serving both the public sector and private development site-improvement markets. Contech-owned companies include Armortec, BridgeTek, CON/SPAN, Continental, Keystone Retaining Walls, Steadfast, and Stormwater360.

Apax Partners (www.apax.com) is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups, operating across the United States, Europe and Israel. Apax Partners has raised or advised approximately $20 billion around the world. With more than 30 years of direct investing experience, Apax Partners' Funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. It pursues a multi-stage equity investment strategy, investing in late venture, growth capital and buyouts. Apax Partners' Funds invest in companies across its global sectors of Tech & Telecom, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare and Financial & Business Services. Past building product investments include Norcraft, RSI, and Empire Pacific.

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Among other recent headlines:

Aqua America subsidiary invests $4.2 million to acquire New Jersey water system -- BRYN MAWR, PA, Nov. 28, 2005 -- Aqua America Inc. announced that its New Jersey subsidiary acquired the water system assets of the Berkeley Water Company for approximately $4.2 million. The system serves nearly 12,000 residents in Berkeley Township, Ocean County. The transaction is the company's first acquisition in Ocean County, N.J...

$6.3 million cleanup of Newton Creek, Hog Island Inlet now complete -- Project is second Great Lakes Legacy Act Project announced finished in as many weeks -- SUPERIOR, WI, Nov. 28, 2005 -- EPA Great Lakes National Program Director Gary Gulezian and Gov. Jim Doyle today celebrated the completion of the state-federal cleanup of contaminated sediment from Newton Creek and Hog Island Inlet. The $6.3 million cleanup project was the second completed under the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002, a special initiative to clean up 31 pollution hotspots on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes...
Also see: "Black Lagoon cleanup, the first Legacy Act project, is now complete"

Public invited to DWR Salton Sea ecosystem restoration program meetings -- SACRAMENTO, CA, Nov. 28, 2005 -- The California Resources Agency will conduct a series of four public meetings on plans to identify ecosystem restoration alternatives for the Salton Sea. The meetings are co-sponsored by U.S. Representative Bob Filner, U.S Representative Mary Bono, State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny, State Senator Jim Battin, State Assembly Member Bonnie Garcia, State Assembly Member John J. Benoit, and the Salton Sea Authority. The public forums will be held in communities throughout the Salton Sea region. State officials will present information on infrastructure configurations and current and future activities for ecosystem restoration at the Salton Sea. The presentation will be followed by a break out session where attendees will be able to discuss each configuration in-depth with state officials. This restoration effort was stipulated in the 2003 Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement and Salton Sea ecosystem restoration legislation. State law requires the Secretary for Resources to prepare an ecosystem restoration plan by December 2006. The plan will be submitted to the State Legislature for review and action...

Biophage announces capability of its PDS Biosensor to detect toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water and in dietary supplements -- Only known system that can detect the presence of cyanobacteria and identify their toxic effects on living cells -- MONTREAL, Canada, Nov. 28, 2005 -- Biophage Pharma Inc. announced that its PDS® Biosensor can detect cyanobacteria (more commonly known as blue-green algae) as well as their toxins. Recent results of a collaborative project with USEPA, Office of Research and Development, indicate that the technology can rapidly detect the presence of all the cyanobacterial toxins tested. These results also suggest that this sensor will be able to identify the presence of unknown toxins mainly because detection is based on the biological effects (killing of cells) of a toxin and not its identity...

Army Corps of Engineers deploys Hummingbird Enterprise for ESRI to simplify, accelerate access to information by linking content to geographic locations -- Linked technologies enable USACE to manage and spatially reference all documentation related to Requests for Information (RFIs) for building and maintaining civil and military infrastructure -- TORONTO, Canada, Nov. 28, 2005 -- Hummingbird Ltd., a leading global provider of integrated enterprise content management (ECM) and network connectivity solutions, today announced that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is deploying Hummingbird Enterprise(TM) for ESRI, its integrated content management and GIS solution with ESRI's ArcIMS(TM) software. The combined Hummingbird and ESRI solution enables USACE staff to manage, query, and spatially reference all documents pertaining to RFIs required for assisting military deployments and civil- military operations deployed within the area of responsibility...

Six royal engineers transform lives of Ghanian villagers with access to clean water -- LONDON, Nov. 28, 2005 -- The lives of around 2,400 people in the villages of Kpalusogu and Koshibu in Northern Ghana have been transformed, thanks to a six-man team of Royal Engineers, reported the UK Ministry of Defense. The soldiers who are all members of 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development), part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, have completed a five week project which has seen fresh running water being delivered to the villages for the first time in 800 years. Working with St. Dunstan's, the charity that provides life-long care for blind ex-service men and women, the Royal Engineers connected a 5.7 kilometre pipeline to the region's existing water infrastructure which can now supply the fresh water at the turn of a tap to the two villages. Working 18 hour days the Royal Engineers also installed latrines in the village of Koshibu at the end of the pipeline and drilled bore holes. Water was located at two sites at a depth of 80 metres and 90 metres. The boreholes will provide 1.3 and 3.5 cubic metres of water an hour...
In other UK water news:
-- "Consumer Council champions regional launch, first committee meeting"
-- "Water complaints top agenda at watchdog's first meeting"
-- Water affordability study: Government names contractors
-- "Local consumer champion highlights potential cost implications to water customers"
-- "Members of new water watchdog visit Davyhulme Wastewater Treatment Works"

Journal: HSBC heads for carbon neutrality, Wessex Water tests strategic environmental assessment -- DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 25, 2005 -- Research and Markets as announced the addition of "Ends Report - Essential UK Journal of Environmental Policy and Business" to its offering. The Ends Report is a leading monthly journal of environmental policy and business in the United Kingdom...

GreenShift portfolio company Ovation Products reports successful testing of new production version of water purification technology -- MOUNT ARLINGTON, NJ, Nov. 23, 2005 -- GreenShift Corp. announced that its portfolio company, Ovation Products Corp., successfully tested a new production version of its patented water purification technology. The new production version, named "Gamma" by Ovation's engineering team, is approximately three feet tall and one foot in diameter - about the size of a fire hydrant. Gamma's output water was tested and achieved the purity of distilled water. Gamma used approximately 54 watt-hours of electricity per gallon of distilled water produced, and Ovation anticipates that the production units will achieve the design goal of 40 watt-hours per gallon, which translates into an electrical energy cost of approximately $0.004 per gallon, or an amount that is less than the cost of tap water in most areas...
In other company news: CEOcast interviews GreenShift CEO Kevin Kreisler

Gov. Schwarzenegger honors Irvine Ranch Land Reserve stewardship program with top environmental award -- SACRAMENTO, CA, Nov. 23, 2005 -- The Irvine Company, The Nature Conservancy and Irvine Ranch Land Reserve Trust are honored for creation and ongoing stewardship of spectacular 50,000-acre reserve in the heart of Orange County...

Aqua Society develops new heat pump -- HERTEN, Germany, Nov. 23, 2005 -- Aqua Society Inc. announced that a new heat pump system developed by the company was sold in Brandenburg, Germany, to a global leader in the food processing industry. The heat pump installed by the company acts as a supplementary system to increase the energy efficiency of the client's existing baking processes...

Global Beverage Solutions to acquire controlling interest in Rudy Beverage TULSA, OK, Nov. 23, 2005 -- Global Beverage Solution Inc. has signed the definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire 80% of Rudy Beverage Group Inc. (RBGI). The agreement calls for the purchase of 80% of the issued and outstanding shares of RBGI for 6 million restricted common shares of GBVS in a stock-for-stock exchange. In addition, the agreement has an earn-out provision for an additional 10 million shares of GBVS that are subject to certain milestones being achieved by RBGI...

Royal Spring Water receives Letter of Intent for the territory of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Islands and Latin America -- LOS ANGELES, Nov. 23, 2005 -- Royal Spring Water Inc. bottles and distributes Artesian spring water of unparalleled quality and purity announced today it has received a letter of intent for a minimum 3-year contract for the territories of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Islands and Latin America, for approximately 1,000,000 cases per year (24(x) 500 ml (16.9 oz) bottles per case). The letter was signed by the president and CEO of Aguas Claras International Distributors Inc...

ICC, IAPMO set February as critical meet date
FALLS CHURCH, VA, Nov. 22, 2005 -- The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the International Code Council (ICC) will meet in February to begin work in earnest in an effort to determine whether the organizations can agree on all of the essential elements, which would be needed in order to create joint plumbing and mechanical codes, according to representatives of both organizations. IAPMO and ICC Board members and staff met in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 19 to continue their ongoing discussion of a joint venture to create single plumbing and mechanical codes for the country. The executive committees of both boards and key staff met for several hours in the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum following a private tour of the Library and onsite lunch...

Southwest Water names Walter J. Bench as treasurer -- LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22, 2005 -- Southwest Water Co. announced that Walter J. Bench has joined the company as treasurer, succeeding O'Donnell Iselin who left for a position with another company. Bench, 54, brings more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international finance, treasury operations and risk management. His expertise includes cash management, corporate finance, acquisitions and divestitures, insurance, pension and benefit management, and general accounting...

Maragos joins Black & Veatch as part of Enterprise Management Solutions Division -- HOUSTON, TX, Nov. 21, 2005 -- The Lukens Energy Group, a Black & Veatch company, today announced that Dr. Spyros A. Maragos has joined as a Senior Associate based in the Houston office where he will provide essential services for the power, natural gas, LNG and crude oil markets. His expertise includes conducting asset valuation and optimization, risk management, economic analysis, energy and weather derivatives valuation, decision analysis, and supply/demand analysis...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: Underground Solutions names former USFilter execs to lead company" -- Also in this report (Nov. 21, 2005): Koch Industries files Georgia Pacific merger submission with EU; VSEP treatment trials for phosphate ore processing wastewater done; Calif. DWR's Snow to roll out state's 'Delta Vision' at ACWA Conference; EU patent allowed for Aqua Dyne water purification technology; Sentinel Solutions forms alliance with Team Aquatic; Ultra Choice Water launches e-commerce site; Ofwat plans to strengthen compensation for sewer-flooded customers; Regalito secures additional water rights for Chilean copper project; Callaway nuke plant sets world record for steam generator replacement; PittCon to host 'Bridging the Sciences' symposium; Aqua Pennsylvania files rate request; Calif. firm wins three Chinese industrial pollution contracts worth $18M; PMSL's Opti-Con controller receives top innovation award...

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