Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Ownership and Financing of American Water Works
General Waterworks Corporation

General Waterworks Corporation

The General Water Works Corporation was incorporated in Delaware on May 26, 1928. The name was changed to General Water Works & Electric Corporation on October 5, 1928.  The company acquired the following water companies:

Boise Water Corporation, Boise, Idaho
Breckenridge Water Company, Breckenridge, Texas
Jersey Shore Water Service Company
Freeport Water Company
Portage Water Company
Indiana Water Service Company, Indiana and Michigan
Winchester Water Works Company, Kentucky
Texas Water Utilities Company

The company went into receivership on September 22, 1931 and its assets were acquired in 1933 by the General Water, Gas & Electric Company, which had been incorporated in Delaware on August 25, 1932.  in 1933.  This company was owned and controlled by International Utilities Corporation.

The Arkansas Municipal Water Company was incorporated in Delaware on July 1, 1942 to acquire the water properties of the Arkansas Power & Light Company.  The name was changed to General Waterworks Corporation on April 17, 1945.  The company acquired several other water systems.

General Waterworks Corporation was acquired by International Utilities Corporation on March 1, 1968 and was re-incorporated under the same name in Delaware on June 1, 1970.

Société Lyonnaise des eaux et de l’éclairage purchased 50% of the General Waterworks Corporation in 1982.  In 1994, General Waterworks merged with the Hackensack Water Company to form United Water. This operation permitted Suez Environnement (Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux at the time) to become a stakeholder in United Water with 32.9 percent of its capital. The French firm accelerated the development of its activities through the establishment of a joint-venture with United Water across 16 states in 1997.

Suez bought United Water in 2000.

1928 "Delaware Corporation to Buy Water Plants," The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware), July 11, 1928

1929 "Permits Asked on Stock Holdings," The Sedalia Democrat, May 23, 1929, Page 1.
The General Waterworks and Electric Corporation, a Delaware corporation, today applied to the public service commission to hold more than 10 percent of the capital stock of the Sedalia Water Company and the Capital City Water Company.

1929 "Water Companies of 2 Cities Sold," Moberly Weekly Monitor, June 27, 1929, Page 1.
Delaware Corporation to Pay Big Price at Sedalia and Jefferson City.  "Excessive," order of commission says.

1932 "New Corporations," The Evening Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), August 16, 1932, Page 28.
General Water, Gas & Electric Company.  Stocks, bonds, etc.  $25,000 and 1,500 shares, no par value.

1932 "Readjustment Plan for Gen. Waterworks & Elec.," The Boston Globe, September 23, 1932, Page 21.

1933 "Can Buy Stock," St. Joseph Gazette, May 16, 1933, Page 2.
General Water, Gas & Electric Company was authorized to acquire 11,807 share of no par common stock of the Sedalia Water Company.  The transaction was opposed by attorneys for Sedalia at a recent hearing.

1943 "Sanction Sale Proposed of Water Plant," The Sedalia Democrat, August 12, 1943, Page 10.
No change in management or policy planned.
General Water, Gas and Electric Company of Delaware sells Sedalia Water Company to the Arkansas Municipal Water Company of Pine Bluff, Ark. To pay $153,100 for 11,807 share of the 11,850 outstanding shares.

1948 "General Waterworks Corp.," Commercial and Financial Chronicle, 168 (No. 4761):10(2542) (December 20, 1948)

1956 "Delaware Water Company is Purchased from Railroad," The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware), January 4, 1956

1967 "Utilities Marriage inside the Family," Time 90(19):100-101 (November 10, 1967)
All kinds of situations impel companies to merge — too much or too little cash, a shortage or a surfeit of able executives, tax advantages or growth-manship. Last week two large but little-known conglomerates agreed to unite for an equally compelling reason: they were practically married anyway. Toronto-based International Utilities Corp. and Philadelphia's General Waterworks Corp. have in common not only the same chairman, Stockbroker Howard Butcher III, but also the same president and chief executive, Chemical Engineer John M. Seabrook. The trouble with that sort of alliance, says Butcher, is that

1969 International Utilities Corporation: a binational past and a multinational future, by John M. Seabrook.  Newcomen Society in North America
Page 20:  Now we come to the biggest acquisition of all-General Waterworks.  Mr. Butcher had not become president of IU until 1949, but in 1942 he had founded another utility holding company, General Waterworks, to hold water and telephone properties in the U.S. In 1959 General Waterworks, too, had decided to diversify and I had undertaken that task. Whereas IU went into service and transportation, General acquired appliance, capital goods, and food businesses.

1982 "50% interest in General Waterworks sold," The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware), September 17, 1982

1989 GWC Corporation Annual Report Owns 30 water utilities.

1991 GWC Corporation Annual Report The company is indirectly owned 81.9% by Lyonnaise des Eaux-Dumez

© 2019 Morris A. Pierce