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Bechtel And Edison Reach Agreement On Edison´s Acquisition Of A 50% Stake In International Water Limited

November 9, 1999 Bechtel Enterprises Holdings, Inc. and Edison S.p.A. announced that they have finalized an agreement for Edison to acquire a 50 percent interest in International Water Limited (IWL), a major international water development services company owned by Bechtel Enterprises.Founded in 1996, IWL, on its own and through its sponsor companies, offers a full range of development, financing, engineering, construction, and operations and maintenance services in the water and wastewater market. With its partners, it is presently providing water and wastewater services to nearly six million customers in the Philippines, Australia, Scotland, and Bolivia and completing negotiations on agreements in India, Poland, and Scotland for facilities that will serve an additional one million customers.

For Bechtel, the involvement of Edison as a 50 percent partner in IWL marks the extension of a well-defined approach to developing successful infrastructure businesses by teaming with global industry leaders. In addition to the water area, Bechtel is teaming with major partners in the power, pipeline, transportation, and telecommunications sectors. "We are extremely proud of IWL's accomplishments to date. This new partnership is the next step in our plan for IWL to become a major force in the global water and wastewater services market," said Tim Statton, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Bechtel Enterprises.

For Edison, this agreement represents a major investment in the global water development business. "Joining the IWL team allows us to extend our integrated utility strategy into the water sector," said Giulio Del Ninno, Chief Executive Officer of Edison. "This venture provides us with new opportunities, particularly in the Italian water market, where privatization is gaining increased attention and focus. We expect to play a leading role, together with IWL, in our market."

IWL has a well-established strategic alliance with United Utilities International (UUIL) whereby they bring their complementary skills together to target this growing international market. It is the strong intention of all three companies that the partnership between IWL and UUIL will continue to develop in the future. Gordon Waters, Managing Director of UUIL, confirmed that "UUIL looks forward to a strengthening of our relationship with IWL under its new ownership structure, as we continue to increase our joint investments in water and wastewater projects around the world."

For IWL, the agreement represents an opportunity to enhance its ambitious expansion plans. "We are excited about adding one of Europe's leading private utility companies to our partnership. Combining their resources and expertise with Bechtel, one of the world's foremost development, engineering, and construction companies, and United Utilities, one of the world's premier water operators, we are positioned to compete aggressively in the water services market," said Didier Quint, Managing Director of IWL. IWL will continue to function as a separate company, with its current management reporting to a board of directors comprised of representatives of the shareholders. IWL will continue to maintain its strategic alliance with UUIL, through which UUIL will support project development efforts, take equity positions, and provide operating and maintenance services for many IWL projects.

IWL is located in London, with main regional offices in Warsaw, Prague, Cairo, Sao Paulo, and Manila.

Background

The Bechtel organization of San Francisco is one of the world's premier development, engineering, construction, and project management companies. It has completed more than 19,000 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents, including more than 300 water and wastewater facilities throughout the world. Bechtel Enterprises, its development, financing, and ownership subsidiary, has developed 46 privatized infrastructure projects with a total constructed value exceeding $18 billion. Since 1990, it has participated in arranging more than $15 billion in project financings. In 1998, Bechtel had revenues of $12.6 billion.

Edison S.p.A., an affiliate of Group Montedison, is Italy's largest private energy services company. In the power sector, it owns 34 power facilities with a total installed capacity of approximately 3600MW (both hydroelectric and thermoelectric). In the hydrocarbons sector, Edison owns 53 concessions, 43 exploration permits, 2 gas storage fields, and thousands of kilometers of high- and low-pressure natural gas pipelines. Abroad, Edison operates in the gas sector, with particular success in Egypt, where significant gas reserves have been found in the Nile delta offshore and where a 400-kilometer pipeline is under construction. In 1998, Group Edison had net revenues of over 1.5 billion dollars.

United Utilities International is the international arm of United Utilities PLC, one of the UK's largest multi-utilities with extensive interests in water and wastewater, power supply and distribution, telecommunication, and facility management. It has existing investments in water and power in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Scotland, and Argentina.