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 Waterworks Corporation was incorporated in Delaware in July, 1928 to 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

This company changed its name to General Waterworks and Electric Company later in 1928, and was insolvent by 1932 and sold to Edgecott Utilities Corp., a subsidiary of International Utilities Company.

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.

General Waterworks Corporation was acquired by International Utilities Corporation on March 1, 1968.

.The General Waterworks Corporation was incorporated 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

1932 "International Utilities 1932 Income $712,477," National Post (Toronto, Ontario), April 1, 1933
Edgecott Utilities Corp. was formed during the year to hold securities of certain public utility operating companies, which are subject to the plan of adjusmtne of General Waterworks and Electric Corp.  This plan was declared operative on December 14, 1932.

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