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Chesapeake Utilities Corporation announced the sale of the assets of its Michigan water treatment and conditioning dealership, EcoWater Systems of Michigan, Inc. (doing business as Douglas Water Conditioning), bringing the total number of dealerships sold to four. The dealership has two operating locations, one in Waterford and one in Fenton, Mich.
The assets of the dealership were sold to three individuals including Jerry Tiefenback, a former owner. The sale of the dealership assets is another step taken by Chesapeake to address the challenges of its water services business. Strong performance and growth in the company's core energy operations, while continuing to focus on the challenges of the water services business, should provide opportunities for improved returns in the future.
Chesapeake previously sold the assets of its Venice, Fla., (Absolute Water Care, Inc.) dealership on June 3; the assets of its Rochester, Minn., (EcoWater Systems of Rochester, Inc.) dealership on June 30; and the assets of Sharp Water of Idaho, Inc., (Intermountain Water with locations in Moscow and Boise) on July 31 (Moscow assets) and October 1 (Boise assets).
"We are committed to improving the operational and financial performance of the company," said John R. Schimkaitis, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corp. "We are continuing to evaluate our options for the two remaining water services businesses." The two remaining dealerships are located in Salisbury and Westminster, Md.
Chesapeake's strategy is to grow earnings from its utility foundation by investing in related businesses and services that provide opportunities for higher, unregulated returns. This growth strategy includes acquisitions and investments in unregulated businesses as well as the continued investment and expansion of the company's utility operations that provide a stable base of earnings.