State Could Use Water Authority Advisor’s Blueprint For Valuation, Sale

In May last year Atlantic City’s water authority hired advisory firm Acacia Financial Group to craft a concession agreement that would help the authority both retain its independence and stave off a state takeover of the city. Acacia Financial helped draft two 100-page-plus documents chock-full of inside information and financial details but just a few months later it abruptly ended its $20,000 contract with the water authority because it had accepted another contract – with the New Jersey department that held state-takeover powers. New Jersey, now tasked with plucking Atlantic City from its financial death spiral, is sitting on a detailed plan that would help potential buyers put a price on one of the casino resort’s few remaining assets: its water authority. What’s more, the plan calculates the future water-rate rises that might be possible for the authority. “Their analysis sets forth what a combined rate structure could be, given a concession model,” said Bruce Ward, executive director of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority said in an interview last month.

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UPDATE: Atlantic City’s MUA Seeks Bankruptcy Advisor To Tackle Casino Trustee’s Claims

This story was updated on Monday Sept. 26 to include new information in the first three paragraphs and other details from an interview with the MUA’s executive director. Atlantic City’s Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) is seeking bankruptcy counsel, according to a request for qualifications published on the authority’s website on Friday. The MUA is seeking legal advice after it was sued by the trustee supervising the bankruptcy of Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal casinos, the water authority’s executive director Bruce Ward said on Monday. The MUA was a vendor to the casinos and the legal action is part of a typical bankrupcty process, Ward said.

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