Southwest Water Company continues to expand its business in the contract operations marketplace with the acquisition of a majority interest in Atlanta-based Operations Technologies, Inc. (OpTech), a provider of contract water, wastewater and public works services in the southeastern United States.
The transaction, which includes a combination of stock, debt and cash, was finalized on August 31, 2001.
"This acquisition marks an important step forward in the development of our contract operations business," said Anton C. Garnier, Southwest Water president and chief executive officer.
"It reinforces our existing strong presence in the industry and extends our client base to the east coast. OpTech's reputation for providing high-quality operations and excellent customer service at a reasonable cost blends naturally with our business model." Garnier added, "We expect that the acquisition will be accretive to our earnings beginning this year."
OpTech was founded by Robert W. Monette, P.E., in 1994. The company operates utilities in Georgia and Mississippi with revenues of $10 million per year and over 300 employees. Monette, 52, a graduate of Mississippi State University and Harvard Business School, is a registered professional engineer and will remain as president of the firm with an active ownership interest.
Commenting on the transaction, Monette said, "We are confident that by affiliating with Southwest Water, OpTech enhances its ability to continue its rapid growth. Both firms share similar values and strong reputations for a focus on client service and value. With our combined presence now stretching from coast to coast, Southwest Water is truly a national company in the contract operations industry, and OpTech is very proud to be an integral part of the team."
With the completion of the transaction, Southwest Water Company's contract operations subsidiaries will operate approximately 100 wastewater treatment facilities, 230 water wells and 10 surface water treatment facilities. Southwest Water has now grown to almost 1,000 employees.
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