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Conn. agency denies extension of testimony filing for SJW/Connecticut Water deal

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Conn. agency denies extension of testimony filing for SJW/Connecticut Water deal

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Jan. 4 denied the request of SJW Group and Connecticut Water Service Inc. to extend the time to demonstrate that the acquisition of Connecticut Water by SJW is in the public's interest. SJW is proposing to acquire Connecticut Water for $70 per common share of Connecticut Water.

On Dec. 5, 2018, the PURA gave the companies a "limited extension" until Dec. 14, 2018, to submit "any new evidence that was unavailable to the applicants before the close of the record [of the] proceeding."

The PURA said in a Jan. 4 ruling that the material the companies submitted "does not adequately remedy the defects of the application identified in [PURA's] proposed final decision." (Connecticut PURA Docket No. 18-07-10)

The PURA on Dec. 3, 2018, filed a proposed decision rejecting the transaction, stating that it "would leave Connecticut Water Service, Inc. in worse condition both financially and managerially, that it does not offer sufficient meaningful, specific, or measurable public benefit, and that it undermines local control of Connecticut utilities." SJW Group is headquartered in San Jose, Calif.

SJW issued a statement Jan. 4 in response to the regulator's denial of an extension.

"We are disappointed that our motion to reopen the record to consider additional evidence was denied by PURA," the company said. "We continue to believe that the transaction is in the public interest and will provide significant benefits to all stakeholders, including employees, customers and local service area communities throughout Connecticut. We are reviewing all of our options and we will provide a public update about our next steps in a timely manner."