On Friday morning, Mayor John Engen was informed that the Carlyle Group had agreed to sell Missoula's Mountain Water Company to a Canadian company, Algonquin Power and Utilities Company in Ontario.

Mayor John Engen told KGVO news on Friday afternoon that the announcement was both expected and a bit of a surprise.

"I certainly didn't expect to receive the email from the Canadian company that wants to buy Mountain Water," Engen said. "However, we knew that they were shopping the company, but we didn't know who or when, so yes, and no, it did and didn't come as a surprise."

Engen said the announcement changes nothing as far as Missoula's effort to obtain the water system in court through the process of condemnation.

"This is simply an announcement on paper, there is no deal consummated, and we're going to continue to forge ahead with our effort to acquire the water system for public use," Engen said. "What the announcement today does is largely confirm what we've been saying from the beginning, and that is that this just a commodity to Carlyle, not a long term investment. They're in the business of buying and selling, basically flipping properties, and this is just another flip for them, but this is our water system and it is essential to our life here in Missoula, Montana, and we take that very seriously in a way that neither Carlyle nor any private successor would not."

Engen said the city would continue the condemnation fight in court, no matter who the legal owners might be.

Missoula Mayor John Engen