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After gas utility acquisition, Aqua America to change name

Aqua America Inc. will change its name to Essential Utilities Inc., effective Feb. 3.

The announcement comes on the heels of Aqua America receiving regulatory clearance from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Jan. 16 to buy gas distribution company PNG Cos. LLC for about $4.28 billion.

Under the proposed deal, Aqua America will acquire Peoples Natural Gas Co. LLC, Peoples Gas Co. LLC and Delta Natural Gas Co. Inc. from infrastructure funds managed by investment firm SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners LP.

PNG Cos. will become a subsidiary of Essential Utilities at transaction close. Essential Utilities' headquarters will remain in Bryn Mawr, Pa., while PNG Cos. will remain in Pittsburgh.

Essential Utilities' common stock will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTRG on Feb. 3.

The company also announced the executive leadership team that will report to Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. The company named Richard Fox executive vice president and COO, Christopher Luning executive vice president and general counsel, Matthew Rhodes executive vice president for strategy and corporate development, and Daniel Schuller executive vice president and CFO.

The following will also report to Franklin: Ruth DeLost-Wylie as senior vice president for business transformation, Susan Haindl as senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Christina Kelly as senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Brian Dingerdissen as vice president and chief of staff for investor relations and communications, and Kimberly Joyce as vice president for regulatory and government affairs.

PNG Cos. COO Joseph Gregorini was named president of natural gas utilities for all states, while Aqua America deputy COO Colleen Arnold was named president of water and wastewater utilities for all states. They will both report to Fox.