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State | THE STATE / WATER DISTRIBUTION

Spanish Firm to Buy Piece of Western Water

October 14, 1998|Bloomberg News

A unit of Aguas de Barcelona, or Agbar, Spain's biggest private water company, plans to buy a stake in Western Water Co., a San Diego-based water company, for an undisclosed sum, Agbar said. Agbar unit Interagua, which is partly owned by Endesa, Spain's largest electrical power company, and Argentaria, Spain's third-largest commercial bank, is in talks to become one of Western Water's shareholders, an Agbar spokesman said. The spokesman could not immediately say how much of Interagua is owned by Endesa and Argentaria. The spokesman denied a report that appeared in the newspaper Expansion that said Interagua had already bought a 20% stake in Western Water for $25 million, which would make it Western's largest shareholder. Aguas de Barcelona said in July it expected profit in 1998 to rise 16.2% from $79 million in 1997 as the Barcelona-based company boosts investment and expands into other service industries. Shares of Western Water fell 6 cents to close at $6.06 in trading on Nasdaq.

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