If you are a concerned resident of Apple Valley and Victorville, you will want to take note of another big business in your area that wants to raise rates in the interest of profit.
A public hearing will be held on April 30 to get public input about a requested 30 percent rate increase over the three years: 2015 to 2017.
Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVR) has it’s local office at 21760 Ottawa Road in Apple Valley. However, what you think is your little local water company isn’t really your friendly neighbor. Looks can be deceiving, as the company is really owned by a big global business that is only interested in big profits, the Carlyle Group.
One local resident who attended the Apple Valley Town Council meeting on Tuesday, April 22, it was revealed that the company already has shown a profit of 12% in recent years, and that stockholders are guaranteed an 8.75% return on their investment as a minimum. It was also announced that $2.5 million has been spent on water system improvements, much of it as speculative major infrastrustructure improvements in outlying areas that don’t have any homes being built.
Water users are supplying the capital for this company to make huge profits, all the while telling them to conserve water. It’s a case of, the less water you use, the more the company needs to charge per unit to make a profit.
Single-family homeowners should be outraged, as they are the only property type that has the three-tiered system. The request by AVR asks to the have Tier 1 level reduced so that these properties must cut their usage levels even further or be slapped with the higher Tier 2 and Tier 3 rates.
The Town of Apple Valley uses Best, Best and Krieger law firm, which specializes in water issues. Their attorneys have been going to Caliofrnia Public Utility Commission (CPUC) hearings in San Francisco to help fight these types of water rate increases.
Not only would single-family home owners be the hardest hit, any rate hikes to the Town of Apple Valely would effect all property owners with a double-whammy. That’s because they also bear the cost of upkeep of the town’s facilities, fire protection, and other needed city services.
Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company was acquired by The Carlyle Group in 2010, a global alternative asset manager. At that time, AVR was owned by Park Water Company, a Downey, California-based investor-owned water utility company (principalsHenry H. Wheeler, Jr. and the Wheeler Family). Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Park Water and its subsidiaries at the time provided water distribution to approximately 225,000 people through nearly 71,000 service connections. In addition to AVR, it owned the Mountain Water Company is located in Missoula, Montana, the largest investor-owned water company in the state serving nearly 50,000 people. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company serves about 65,000 people in Apple Valley and Victorville, California.
Robert Dove, Carlyle Managing Director and Co-Head of Carlyle’s global infrastructure practice, said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Wheeler family to acquire Park Water, a well-managed company with dedicated employees. This investment is a strategic addition to our fund, and Carlyle is keen to support Park Water and its subsidiaries by providing capital to reinvest in the company’s operations to ensure the highest quality water standards and customer service.”
Mr. Dove added, “We are particularly pleased that Mr. Wheeler has agreed to continue his involvement with Park Water by being a member of the board of directors and serving as a consultant to the company.”
Carlyle’s investment was made by Carlyle Infrastructure Partners, a $1.14 billion fund that invests primarily in transportation and water infrastructure projects in the U.S. and Canada ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion in enterprise value.
The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $97.7 billion of assets under management committed to 76 funds as of September 30, 2010. Carlyle invests across three asset classes – private equity, real estate and credit alternatives – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America focusing on aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, consumer & retail, energy & power, financial services, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure, technology & business services and telecommunications & media. Since 1987, the firm has invested $64.7 billion of equity in 1015 transactions.
The Carlyle Group employs more than 900 people in 19 countries. As of June 30, 2009, in the aggregate, Carlyle portfolio companies have more than $84 billion in revenue and employ more than 398,000 people around the world. Web: www.carlyle.com; Video: www.youtube.com/OneCarlyle