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Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) to Acquire ESSAL for $92.3M

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Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (AQN - Free Report) announced that it has entered into a definite agreement to acquire 53.5% of a Chilean water utility, Empresa de Servicios Sanitarios de Los Lagos S.A. ("ESSAL") for $92.3 million. The acquisition will expand Algonquin Power’s operation in an investment-grade OECD country with one of the highest GDP growth rates and lowest country risks in Latin America.

Subject to necessary approval, this transaction is expected to close in 2020 and be immediately accretive to adjusted net earnings per share of Algonquin Power & Utilities.

Expansion through Acquisitions

Algonquin Power & Utilities has planned to expand operations through acquisitions amid the unprecedented economic crisis. The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted its operations. The company expects the planned acquisition of Bermuda Electric Company to close later this year, which was earlier scheduled to close in early 2020. This will lower its adjusted earnings per share by 1 cent in 2020.

In addition, the company has entered into an agreement to acquire New York American Water from American Water Works Company (AWK - Free Report) . This acquisition is expected to close in the latter half of 2020, subject to necessary approvals.

Long Term Plans

Algonquin Power & Utilities has committed to invest $9.2 billion in the 2020-2024 time period to strengthen its infrastructure and add more renewable power to the generation portfolio. Commercial and Industrial customers are supporting its long-term renewable energy projects.

The company has signed contracts for the 490 megawatt (MW) Maverick Creek Wind Project and 80 MW Altavista Solar Project. Recently, the company also signed an agreement with Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) to co-develop 500 MW of renewable power.

Huge Potential in Water Space

Global Water Intelligence (“GWI”) forecasts that the global water market will reach a total value of $914.9 billion in 2023. Per GWI, the North American fracking boom is also creating a new market for water management and opportunities for water utility operators of the United States.

The U.S. water market also offers excellent opportunities to operators to expand, and reap the benefits of the rising demand for water as well as wastewater services. On account of this, electric utility company Eversource Energy (ES - Free Report) diversified operations and forayed into the water business through the acquisition of Aquarion Water Company. 

Zacks Rank

Algonquin Power & Utilities currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past six months.

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