Florida Water Services Agrees to Sell Remaining Systems

April 26, 2004

ALLETE, Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Florida Water Services Corp., agreed to sell its remaining 72 water and wastewater systems to Aqua America, Inc. for $18 million. The transaction is scheduled to close by the end of June, and is subject to regulatory approval by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC). This approval process may result in an adjustment of the final purchase price based on the FPSC's determination of plant investment for the system. The ultimate ownership of nine of the aforementioned water and wastewater systems is subject to the outcome of a previously negotiated right of first refusal with a local municipality.

ALLETE has been in the process of selling its Water Services businesses which are comprised primarily of Florida Water Services Corporation and North Carolina-based Heater Utilities, Inc. In November, 2003, Aqua America, Inc. agreed to purchase Heater Utilities, Inc. for $48 million and assumption of approximately $28 million in debt. The sale of Heater Utilities, Inc. is scheduled to close in mid-2004 pending regulatory approval.

Source: Allete, Inc.