United States Filter Corporation (USFilter), a subsidiary of Vivendi Environnement (Euronext Paris: VIE and NYSE: VE), announced it has successfully completed the sale of its waterworks distribution business to National Waterworks, Inc., a company jointly owned by JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, for a cash purchase price of $620 million. The sale furthers USFilter?s announced strategy to divest non-core assets and focus on growth opportunities within USFilter?s expanding business base of water-wastewater equipment and services, and consumer and commercial businesses.
The waterworks distribution business distributes third-party water infrastructure hardware items such as pipes, hydrants, valves and meters through more than 140 sales and service centers in the United States. Total annual sales in 2001 were approximately $1.1 billion. Agreement to sell the business was publicly announced in September.
The sale of the business brings Vivendi Environnement?s year-to-date proceeds from the divestiture of non-core assets to approximately $1.3 billion?in line with the company?s target for 2002. The divestitures have allowed USFilter to focus more intensely on the fast-growing North American water infrastructure management, operations and technology segments.