Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — A state agency will acquire most of the water assets held by Aqua Utilities Florida and Crystal River Utilities, units of Aqua America Inc., the Gainesville Sun reported, citing the Florida Government Utility Authority.

The 6-county government group paid $49.2 million for the water systems in 12 Florida counties, the newspaper said, citing a news release last week.

Documents on the Sumter County government website indicate Aqua America, the second-largest publicly traded water company in the U.S., wanted out because it had been forced to raise rates beyond what customers would tolerate, the paper reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in London at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net