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News Breaks
May 16, 2014
14:02 EDTWTRAqua America subsidiary buys McHenry Shores Water System
Aqua America announced that its Illinois subsidiary has purchased the assets of the McHenry Shores Water Company in the City of McHenry, Illinois, for $427,000. The McHenry Shores system serves approximately 1,600 people and will be operated out of Aqua Illinois’ Northern Division office, which operates out of Wauconda. Aqua serves 175,000 people in 13 counties throughout Illinois. It is the seventh acquisition this year by an Aqua America subsidiary. Aqua plans to make about $1.3M of upgrades within the first five years including the replacement of water mains, valves, service lines and fire hydrants; refurbishing the 100,000-gallon elevated storage tank; constructing an iron removal plant to improve water quality; buying an on-site emergency power generator to ensure reliable service; the installation of supervisory control and data acquisition system to enable remote monitoring to identify any system failures in a timely manner; water meter upgrades and improving security.
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April 24, 2015
16:47 EDTWTRISS urges Aqua America investors to vote for UWUA shareholder proposal
Leading proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services issued a report recommending that shareholders of Aqua America vote "for" a shareholder proposal concerning extraordinary retirement benefits for Aqua's senior executives. The shareholder proposal, which was submitted by the Utility Workers Union of America for inclusion in Aqua's proxy statement for the company's May 8 annual meeting, urges Aqua's board of directors to seek shareholder approval of any future extraordinary retirement benefits for top executives. The UWUA's proposal appears as Proposal No. 5 in Aqua's proxy statement. Aqua maintains two supplemental retirement plans providing extraordinary pension benefits for senior executives that are not generally available to all employees, including a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan available only to CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis. According to the company's proxy statement, the present value of DeBenedictis' total retirement benefits at the end of 2014 was more than $7.5M, including $4.7M in benefits in the two supplemental plans. ISS notes in its report that, "these benefits are not linked to company or executive performance and, while once seen as a competitive recruitment tool, increasingly stand out as a substantial non-performance-based pay element for executives who receive them." The ISS report concludes that, "in light of the significant potential costs and increasing shareholder focus on pay for performance, this proposal seeking shareholder approval of SERP benefits warrants support."

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