Houlihan Lokey Advises U.S. Water Services

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that U.S. Water Services, Inc. (U.S. Water), an operating subsidiary of ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE:ALE), has been acquired by Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (TYO:6370) (Kurita). The transaction closed on March 26, 2019.

U.S. Water is the leading North American provider of integrated industrial water treatment solutions to blue-chip customers competing across a diverse range of end markets, including the food and beverage, oil and gas, bioethanol refineries, electric power, and light industries. The company's integrated water solution combines chemicals, equipment engineering, and service to optimize system performance, reduce water and energy use, and improve efficiency, creating highly sticky customer relationships. The company was founded in 1997 and is based in St. Michael, Minnesota.

ALLETE is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to its electric utilities—Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light & Power of Wisconsin—ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, and BNI Energy, based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The company also has a minority equity interest in American Transmission Co.

Kurita is a leading international water treatment solution provider that both manufactures and sells water treatment chemicals and equipment to a wide variety of end markets. Kurita is headquartered in Japan and has offices across the world, including in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.

Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to ALLETE and assisted in structuring and negotiating the transaction on its behalf. In addition, Houlihan Lokey provided a fairness opinion to the ALLETE board of directors. The transaction highlights Houlihan Lokey's continued success as a leading advisor to niche industrial manufacturing and service companies.

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