USFilter to Sell Calif. Farmland for $77M

Feb. 10, 2004

Seven years after diving into Southern California’s notorious water wars, USFilter now is getting out of the farming business.

A unit of Veolia Environnement, USFilter has entered into an agreement to sell farmland in California’s Imperial Valley to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID). The sale price will be $77.3 million in cash.

The IID provides irrigation water drawn from the Colorado River to Imperial Valley farms. The Imperial Valley is the largest user of Colorado River water in California.

Earlier this year, the IID entered into a series of agreements with several other water districts in Southern California intended to facilitate the conservation and transfer of agricultural water to urban users.

The sale represents another step toward implementation of the strategic refocusing of Veolia Environnement’s North American water operations announced on September 24.

After the disposal of Everpure, last November, the sale of farmland in California is consistent with Veolia Environnement’s strategy to concentrate its efforts on developing its expertise in municipal outsourcing services and long-term contracts for both municipal and industrial customers.

Source: Veolia Environnement