Deprivatization – Nashua to Acquire Pennichuck Corporation

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission approves Nashua’s purchase of Pennichuck Corp.

The New Hampshire Public Utility Commission issued a 46-page ruling, finding that the City of Nashua’s purchase of the privately held Pennichuck was in the public interest. A majority of Pennichuck stockholders had previously agreed to sell the company to the city for $29 per share. In the acquisition, the city was further obligated to contribute towards severance packages, legal fees, and other expenses.

In 2002, Philadelphia Suburban Corp. (now Aqua America) agreed to acquire Pennichuck. But strained relations between the City and Pennichuck developed long before this. In the 1990s, Pennichuck had developed or sold land that the city had felt was critical to watershed protection. Via eminent domain, the City sought to acquire assets of Pennichuck Water Works. New Hampshire PUC set the value of the acquisition at $203M in 2006. Pennichuck appealed this ruling. Now nearly a decade later, the City has found a way to acquire Pennichuck in a plan that has broad approval.