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Tampa water company AquaVenture sells to Culligan for $1.1 billion

Margie Manning

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Photo credit: AquaVenture

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area is about to lose another public company.

AquaVenture Holdings Limited (NYSE: WAAS) agreed to be acquired by Culligan in an all-cash transaction valued about about $1.1 billion, including AquaVenture’s debt.

Culligan will pay $27.10 a share for AquaVenture stock, a a premium of approximately 25 percent to AquaVenture’s closing share price on Dec. 20 and a premium of about 33 percent to AquaVenture’s 90-day volume-weighted average share price. The deal is expected to close in April 2020, subject to AquaVenture shareholder and regulatory approvals.

AquaVenture is a water-as-a-service company with two operating platforms: Seven Seas Water and Quench. Seven Seas provides desalination, wastewater treatment and water reuse solutions to governmental, industrial, property developer and hospitality customers. Quench provides bottleless filtered water coolers and other products that use filtered water, such as ice machines, sparkling water dispensers and coffee brewers, to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Culligan, a suburban Chicago-based company owned by private equity firm Advent International, has water filtration and treatment products, and operates through a network of franchise dealers.  Culligan has fully committed debt financing as well as equity funding provided by Advent.

“AquaVenture is a leading player in water purification solutions with a strong record of innovation,” Scott Clawson, CEO of Culligan, said in a news release. “We are excited to work with the AquaVenture team and look forward to the many opportunities ahead.”

AquaVenture went public in 2016 and is currently among the largest publicly traded companies in the Tampa-St. Pete area, with $145.6 million in 2018 revenue. The company had a net loss of $20.7 million, or 78 cents a  share last year.

It joins two other local public companies that have deals to sell themselves in 2020. Apollo Global Management will pay $6 billion to buy Tech Data Corp. (Nasdaq: TECD), an IT distributor in Clearwater and the largest company in the area based on revenue. WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a managed healthcare provider in Tampa, is being acquired by Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) for $17.3 billion.

In addition, Bloomin’ Brands (NYSE: BLMN),  the Tampa-based parent company of Outback Steakhouse and other brands, is exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.

 

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