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Xylem planning for more acquisitions

Gretchen McCain, CEO of Xylem, Inc., says that the water company plans at least $300 million in acquisitions in the next year. The company has spent $1.36 billion on acquisitions since 2010, according to a news report by Bloomberg.

McCain told the publication that so-called “bolt-on” purchases that complement Xylem’s core business make sense. The company spun off from ITT Corp. last year. Xylem provides technologies and products including pumps that transport, treat and test water and wastewater.

Xylem spent $41 million for the Danish analytical instrumentation firm MJK Automation A/S and dewatering company Heartland Pumps of Carterville, Illinois, this year and $310 million in 2011 for sensor developer YSI Inc.

In related news, the company, headquartered in White Plains, New York recently published a survey that showed an increasing concern in the U.S. about water issues. Nearly nine out of ten people survey said that water infrastructure needs to be improved.

Xylem surveyed 1,008 Americans this past summer. The results show that people are more willing to pay for upgrades to their water systems to bring about the infrastructure improvements.

And more than half of the survey respondents vastly underestimated the amount of water they use daily. McCain says that it can be easy for to take clean water for granted when many of the costs of providing it are invisible.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates $1 trillion “will be needed to pay for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years,” she says.

Source: Bloomberg