Public-Private Deals Spark Turmoil
Three years ago, Carlyle Group LP bought the pipes, pumps and water wells in Missoula, Mont., and several California communities in what the firm assumed was a relatively low-risk bet.
Carlyle finds itself fighting in court to retain control of the Montana water utility. Missoula officials are suing under eminent domain laws to take control, accusing one of the world’s largest private-equity firms of reneging on a handshake deal to sell the system to the city. One of the California locales is considering a similar takeover for its water system.
The dispute highlights the difficulties in what seems like a natural fit: using private money to fix the nation’s leaky pipes, outdated airports and crumbling bridges.
Read more in The Wall Street Journal