Thursday, August 11, 2011

Carlyle's Commitments to Mountain Water

Carlye Infrastructure Partners Robert Dove testified on Carlyle's proactive stance in pursuing the Mountain Water acquisition:  Doved cited their public relations push, which included meeting with key stakeholders like Missoula's mayor :

Again we have not waited until we own Park Water before doing so.
The mayor stated Missoula's interest in buying Mountain Water, only he seems resigned to buying a marked up company from Carlyle:

Wednesday's discussion began with an explanation of the PSC's process, followed by Mayor John Engen's discussion of the city's interest in the sale.

It's true the city wants to own the water company, Engen said, but he doesn't believe Park Water would be amenable to a straight sale to the city. But he does believe the city might be able to buy it from Carlyle.

"I believe that based on what Carlyle does, the nature of its business, at some point it will sell the utility. I want the city to be in the position to have a chance to buy it," Engen said.

The mayor may be right, given PEU's proliferation the last decade and their incredible political influence.

Park sold Mountain's Superior, Montana public supply water assets to the town of Superior for $1.22 million in 2000.

Even the mayor pushed the Carlyle line, opposite their PR proactive stance:

Carlyle has maintained it cannot entertain the idea of selling Mountain Water to the city until it is the owner, Engen said.

Here's a suggestion, buy now and avoid the PEU middleman.  Private equity markups are huge.  It's a fact they won't confess.

Update 8-18-11:  Carlyle got testy with the PSC for its probing into the sale, calling the inquiry "unreasonable," a "violation of due process rights" and saying the commission "raises issues well outside its jurisdiction."  Carlyle brings big gun lawyers, billions in ka-ching and unparalleled political influence.  As one Missoulian said "the odds are stacked against us,"

Update 8-21-11:  Missoulian reported "Carlyle contends the PSC is asking for repetitive testimony that "created unnecessary work for Mountain Water and Carlyle."  It would help if Carlyle answered the question the first time it was asked, instead of blowing PEU smoke.