Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based Aqua America (NYSE:WTRG) has just completed a sizable divestiture of nearly two-thirds of its businesses in Florida, raising nearly $53 million in cash as a result.

The company announced Thursday that, in three separate transactions, it has sold:

  • One water system and one wastewater system serving the Arredondo Farms community in Alachua County to privately held YES Communities Companies, LLC, for $1.1 million
  • Nine water systems and four wastewater systems across five counties to privately held U.S. Water for $1.6 million
  • In the main event, 57 water systems and 23 wastewater systems across 12 Florida counties to the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA) for $50.2 million

In all, the divestitures covered 17 Florida counties, and 65% of Aqua America's Florida customer base, and raised $52.9 million for the company -- and it's not done yet.

Aqua says it expects to sell its remaining Florida operations in Sarasota and DeSoto counties in the second or third quarter of 2013. Once those sales have been finalized, the company will have pulled out of Florida entirely, and will concentrate its efforts in the eight states of Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In the latter two, the company says that it's actually expanding.

Aqua America shares closed the abbreviated holiday trading week Thursday up 1.5%, at $31.44.

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